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LiBRARY  OF  CONGRESS. 


UNITED  STATE>S  OF  AMERICA. 


ABIDE  IN  CHRIST 


THOUGHTS 

ON  THE  BLESSED  LIFE  OF  FELLOWSHIP 
WITH  THE  SON  OF  GOD 


BY    THE 

REV.   ANDREW  MURRAY 

AUTHOR    OF 
*  LIKE   CHRIST,'     '  WITH   CHRIST   IN   THE    SCHOOL    OF    PRAYER,'    ETC. 


'Aoiae  m  mCj  and  I  in  you  ^ 


r^l-O-d 


h 


PHILADELPHIA 
3—4  HENRY    ALTEMUS 

1895 


™N^ 


A 


4i^ 


Copyrighted,  1895,  by  Henry  Altemus. 


The  Library 
OF  Congress 


WASHINGTON 


HENRY  ALTEMUS,  MANUFACTURER, 
PHILADELPHIA. 


PREFACE, 


DURING  the  life  of  Jesus  on  earth,  the  word  He 
chiefly  used  when  speaking  of  the  relations  of 
the  disciples  to  Himself  was:  'Follow  me.'*  When 
about  to  leave  for  heaven,  He  gave  them  a  new  word, 
in  which  their  more  intimate  and  spiritual  union 
with  Himself  in  glory  should  be  expressed.  That 
chosen  word  was:     'Abide  in  me.'* 

It  is  to  be  feared  that  there  are  many  earnest  fol- 
lowers of  Jesus  from  whom  the  meaning  of  this  word, 
with  the  blessed  experience  it  promises,  is  very  much 
hidden.  While  trusting  in  their  Saviour  for  pardon 
and  for  help,  and  seeking  to  some  extent  to  obey 
Him,  they  have  hardly  realized  to  what  closeness  of 
union,  to  what  intimacy  of  fellowship,  to  what  won- 
drous oneness  of  life  and  interest.  He  invited  them 
when  He  said,  'Abide  in  me.'  This  is  not  only  an 
unspeakable  loss  to  themselves,  but  the  Church  and 
the  world  suffer  in  what  they  lose. 

If  we  ask  the  reason  why  those  who  have  indeed 
accepted  the  Saviour,  and  been  made  partakers  of  the 
renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  thus  come  short  of  the 
full  salvation  prepared  for  them,  I  am  sure  the  an- 
swer will  in  very  many  cases  be,  that  ignorance  is  the 


6  PREFACE. 

cause  of  the  unbelief  that  fails  of  the  inheritance. 
If,  in  our  orthodox  Churches,  the  abiding  in  Christ, 
the  living  union  with  Him,  the  experience  of  His 
daily  and  hourly  presence  and  keeping,  were  preached 
with  the  same  distinctness  and  urgency  as  His  atone- 
ment and  pardon  through  His  blood,  I  am  confident 
that  many  would  be  found  to  accept  with  gladness 
the  invitation  to  such  a  life,  and  that  its  influence 
would  be  manifest  in  their  experience  of  the  purity 
and  the  power,  the  love  and  the  joy,  the  fruit-bear- 
ing, and  all  the  blessedness  which  the  Saviour  con- 
nected with  the  abiding  in  Him. 

It  is  with  the  desire  to  help  those  who  have  not 
yet  fully  understood  what  the  Saviour  meant  with 
His  command,  or  who  have  feared  that  it  was  a  life 
beyond  their  reach,  that  these  meditations  are  now 
published.  It  is  only  by  frequent  repetition  that  a 
child  learns  its  lessons.  It  is  only  by  continuously 
fixing  the  mind  for  a  time  on  some  one  of  the  lessons 
of  faith,  that  the  believer  is  gradually  helped  to  take 
and  thoroughly  assimilate  them.  I  have  the  hope 
that  to  some,  especially  young  believers,  it  will  be  a 
help  to  come  and  for  a  month  day  after  day  spell  over 
the  precious  words,  'Abide  in  me,'  with  the  lessons 
connected  with  them  in  the  Parable  of  the  Vine. 
Step  by  step  we  shall  get  to  see  how  truly  this  prom- 
ise-precept is  meant  for  us,  how  surely  grace  is  pro- 
vided to  enable  us  to  obey  it,  how  indispensable  the 


PREFACE,  7 

experience  of  its  blessing  is  to  a  healthy  Christian 
life,  and  how  unspeakable  the  blessings  are  that  flow 
from  it.  As  we  listen,  and  meditate,  and  pray, — as 
we  surrender  ourselves,  and  accept  in  faith  the  whole 
Jesus  as  He  offers  Himself  to  us  in  it, — the  Holy 
Spirit  will  make  the  word  to  be  spirit  and  life;  this 
word  of  Jesus,  too,  will  become  to  us  the  power  of 
God  unto  salvation,  and  through  it  will  come  the 
faith  that  grasps  the  long-desired  blessing. 

I  pray  earnestly  that  our  gracious  Lord  may  be 
pleased  to  bless  this  little  book,  to  help  those  who 
seek  to  know  Him  fully,  as  He  has  already  blessed  it 
in  its  original  issue  in  a  different  (the  Dutch)  lan- 
guage. I  pray  still  more  earnestly  that  He  would, 
by  whatever  means,  make  the  multitudes  of  His  dear 
children  who  are  still  living  divided  lives,  to  see  how 
He  claims  them  wholly  for  Himself,  and  how  the 
whole-hearted  surrender  to  abide  in  Him  alone  brings 
the  joy  unspeakable  and  full  of  glory.  Oh,  let  each 
of  us  who  has  begun  to  taste  the  sweetness  of  this  life, 
yield  himself  wholly  to  be  a  witness  to  the  grace  and 
power  of  our  Lord  to  keep  us  united  with  Himself, 
and  seek  by  word  and  walk  to  win  others  to  follow 
Him  fully.  It  is  only  in  such  fruit-bearing  that  our 
own  abiding  can  be  maintained. 

In  conclusion,  I  ask  to  be  permitted  to  give  one 
word  of  advice  to  my  reader.  It  is  this.  It  needs 
time  to  grow  into  Jesus  the  Vine:    do  not  expect  to 


8  PREFACE, 

abide  in  Him  unless  you  will  give  Him  that  time.  It 
is  not  enough  to  read  God's  Word,  or  meditations  as 
here  offered,  and  when  we  think  we  have  hold  of  the 
thoughts,  and  have  asked  God  for  His  blessing,  to  go 
out  in  the  hope  that  the  blessing  will  abide.  No,  it 
needs  day  by  day  time  with  Jesus  and  with  God. 
We  all  know  the  need  of  time  for  our  meals  each  day, 
— every  workman  claims  his  hour  for  dinner;  the 
hurried  eating  of  so  much  food  is  not  enough.  If 
we  are  to  live  through  Jesus,  we  must  feed  on  Him 
{John  vi,  57) ;  we  must  thoroughly  take  in  and  as- 
similate that  heavenly  food  the  Father  has  given  us 
in  His  life.  Therefore,  my  brother,  who  would  learn 
to  abide  in  Jesus,  take  time  each  day,  ere  you  read, 
and  while  you  read,  and  after  you  read,  to  put  your- 
self into  living  contact  with  the  living  Jesus,  to  yield 
yourself  distinctly  and  consciously  to  His  blessed 
influence;  so  will  you  give  Him  the  opportunity  of 
taking  hold  of  you,  of  drawing  you  up  and  keeping 
you  safe  in  His  almighty  life. 

And  now,  to  all  God's  children  whom  He  allows 
me  the  privilege  of  pointing  to  the  Heavenly  Vine,  I 
offer  my  fraternal  love  and  salutations,  with  the 
prayer  that  to  each  one  of  them  may  be  given  the 
rich  and  full  experience  of  the  blessedness  of  abiding 
in  Christ.  And  may  the  grace  of  Jesus,  and  the  love 
of  God,  and  the  fellowship  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  be 
their  daily  portion.     Amen.  A.  M. 


CONTENTS. 


ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

DAY 

1.  All  ye  who  have  come  to  Him,     . 

2.  And  ye  shall  find  Rest  to  your  Souls, 

3.  Trusting  Him  to  keep  you, 

4.  As  the  Branch  in  the  Vine, 

5.  As  you  came  to  Him,  by  Faith, 

6.  God  Himself  has  united  you  to  Him, 

7.  As  your  Wisdom, 

8.  As  your  Righteousness, 

9.  As  your  Sanctification, 

10.  As  your  Redemption, 

11.  The  Crucified  One, 

12.  God  Himself  will  establish  you  in  Him, 

13.  Every  Moment,    . 

14.  Day  by  Day, 

15.  At  this  Moment, 


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10 


CONTENTS. 


16.  Forsaking  all  for  Him, 

17.  Through  the  Holy  Spirit,    . 

18.  In  Stillness  of  Soul, 

19.  In  Affliction  and  Trial, 

20.  That  you  may  bear  much  Fruit, 

21.  So  will  you  have  Power  in  Prayer, 

22.  And  in  His  Love, 

23.  As  Christ  in  the  Father,      . 

24.  Obeying  His  Commandments, 

25.  That  your  Joy  may  be  full, 

26.  And  in  Love  to  the  Brethren, 

27.  That  you  may  not  sin, 

28.  As  your  Strength, 

29.  And  not  in  Self, 

30.  As  the  Surety  of  the  Covenant, 

31.  The  Glorified  One, 


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230 


JOHN  XV.  1-12. 

1.  I  am  the  True  Vine,  and  my  Father  is  the  Husband- 
man. 

2.  Every  branch  in  me  that  beareth  not  fruit  He  taketh 
away  :  and  every  branch  that  beareth  fruit,  He  purgeth  it, 
that  it  may  bring  forth  more  fruit. 

3.  Now  ye  are  clean  through  the  word  which  I  have 
spoken  unto  you. 

4.  Abide  in  me,  and  I  in  you.  As  the  branch  cannot 
bear  fruit  of  itself,  except  it  abide  in  the  vine ;  no  more 
can  ye,  except  ye  abide  in  me. 

5.  I  am  the  Vine,  ye  are  the  branches  :  he  that  abideth  in 
me,  and  I  in  him,  the  same  bringeth  forth  much  fruit :  for 
without  me  ye  can  do  nothing. 

6.  If  a  man  abide  not  in  me,  he  is  cast  forth  as  a  branch, 
and  is  withered ;  and  men  gather  them,  and  cast  them  into 
the  fire,  and  they  are  burned. 

7.  If  ye  abide  in  me,  and  my  words  abide  in  you,  ye 
shall  ask  what  ye  will,  and  it  shall  be  done  unto  you. 

8.  Herein  is  my  Father  glorified,  that  ye  bear  much  fruit ; 
so  shall  ye  be  my  disciples. 

9.  As  the  Father  hath  loved  me,  so  have  I  loved  you : 
continue  ye  in  my  love. 

10.  If  ye  keep  my  commandments,  ye  shall  abide  in  my 
love  ;  even  as  I  have  kept  my  Father's  commandments  and 
abide  in  His  love. 

11.  These  things  have  I  spoken  unto  you,  that  my  joy 
might  remain  in  you,  and  that  your  joy  might  be  full. 

12.  This  is  my  commandment.  That  ye  love  one  another, 
as  I  have  loved  you. 


FIRST  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN   OHEIST 

ALL  YE  WHO  HAVE  COME  TO  HIM. 

'Come  unto  me. ' — Matt.  xi.  28.     'Abide  in  me. ' — 
John  xv.  4. 

IT  is  to  you  who  have  heard  and  hearkened  to  the 
call,  'Come  unto  m^,'  that  this  new  invitation 
comes,  *  Abide  in  me.'  The  message  comes  from  the 
same  loving  Saviour.  You  doubtless  have  never  re- 
pented having  come  at  His  call.  You  experienced 
that  His  word  was  truth ;  all  His  promises  He  fulfilled ; 
He  made  you  partakers  of  the  blessings  and  the  joy 
of  His  love.  Was  not  His  welcome  most  hearty.  His 
pardon  full  and  free.  His  love  most  sweet  and  precious? 
You  more  than  once,  at  your  first  coming  to  Him, 
had  reason  to  say,  'The  half  was  not  told  me.' 

And  yet  you  have  had  to  complain  of  disappoint- 
ment: as  time  went  on,  your  expectations  were  not 
realized.  The  blessings  you  once  enjoyed  were  lost; 
the  love  and  joy  of  your  first  meeting  with  your  Sa- 
viour, instead  of  deepening,  have  become  faint  and 
feeble.     And  often  you   have  wondered  what    the 

13 


14  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

reason  could  be,  that  with  such  a  Saviour,  so  mighty 
and  so  loving,  your  experience  of  salvation  should 
not  have  been  a  fuller  one. 

The  answer  is  very  simple.  You  wandered  from 
Him.  The  blessings  He  bestows  are  all  connected 
with  His  'Come  to  me,'  and  are  only  to  be  enjoyed  in 
close  fellowship  with  Himself.  You  either  did  not 
fully  understand,  or  did  not  rightly  remember,  that 
the  call  meant,  'Come  to  me  to  stay  with  me,^  And 
yet  this  was  in  very  deed  His  object  and  purpose 
when  first  He  called  you  to  Himself.  It  was  not  to 
refresh  you  for  a  few  short  hours  after  your  conver- 
sion with  the  joy  of  His  love  and  deliverance,  and 
then  to  send  you  forth  to  wander  in  sadness  and  sin. 
He  had  destined  you  to  something  better  than  a  short- 
lived blessedness,  to  be  enjoyed  only  in  times  of  special 
earnestness  and  prayer,  and  then  to  pass  away,  as  you 
had  to  return  to  those  duties  in  which  far  the  greater 
part  of  life  has  to  be  spent.  No,  indeed;  He  had 
prepared  for  you  an  abiding  dwelling  with  Himself, 
where  your  whole  life  and  every  moment  of  it  might 
be  spent,  where  the  work  of  your  daily  life  might  be 
done,  and  where  all  the  while  you  might  be  enjoying 
unbroken  communion  with  Himself.  It  was  even 
this  He  meant  when  to  that  first  word,  *  Oome  to  me,' 
He  added  this,  'Aiide  in  me.'  As  earnest  and  faith- 
ful, as  loving  and  tender,  as  the  compassion  that 
breathed  in  that  blessed  '  Come^^  was  the  grace  that 


ALL   YE  WHO  HAVE  COME  TO  HIM.  15 

added  this  no  less  blessed  'Abide,'*  As  mighty  as  the 
attraction  with  which  that  first  word  drew  yon,  were 
the  bonds  with  which  this  second,  had  you  bnt  lis- 
tened to  it,  would  have  kept  yon.  And  as  great  as 
were  the  blessings  with  which  that  coming  was  re- 
warded, so  large,  yea,  and  much  greater,  were  the 
treasures  to  which  that  abiding  would  have  given  you 
access. 

And  observe  especially,  it  was  not  that  He  said, 
*Oome  to  me  and  abide  with  me,'  but,  'Abide  in  me.'* 
The  intercourse  was  not  only  to  be  unbroken,  but 
most  intimate  and  complete.  He  opened  His  arms, 
to  press  you  to  His  bosom;  He  opened  His  heart,  to 
welcome  you  there;  He  opened  up  all  His  Divine  ful- 
ness of  life  and  love,  and  offered  to  take  you  up  into 
its  fellowship,  to  make  you  wholly  one  with  Himself. 
There  was  a  depth  of  meaning  you  cannot  yet  realize 
in  His  words:  'Abide  IK  me.' 

And  with  no  less  earnestness  than  He  had  cried, 
*Oome  to  me,'  did  He  plead,  had  you  but  noticed  it, 
^ Abide  in  me.'^  By  every  motive  that  had  induced 
you  to  come,  did  He  beseech  you  to  abide.  Was  it 
the  fear  of  sin  and  its  curse  that  first  drew  you?  the 
pardon  you  received  on  first  coming  could,  with  all 
the  blessings  flowing  from  it,  only  be  confirmed  and 
fully  enjoyed  on  abiding  in  Him.  Was  it  the  long- 
ing to  know  and  enjoy  the  Infinite  Love  that  was 
calling  you?    the  first  coming  gave  but  single  drops 


16  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

to  taste, — 'tis  only  the  abiding  that  can  really  satisfy 
the  thirsty  soul,  and  give  to  drink  of  the  rivers  of 
pleasure  that  are  at  His  right  hand.  Was  it  the 
weary  longing  to  be  made  free  from  the  bondage  of 
sin,  to  become  pure  and  holy,  and  so  to  find  rest,  the 
rest  of  God  for  the  soul?  this  too  can  only  be  realized 
as  you  abide  in  Him, — only  abiding  in  Jesus  gives 
rest  in  Him.  Or  if  it  was  the  hope  of  an  inheritance 
in  glory,  and  an  everlasting  home  in  the  presence  of 
the  Infinite  One:  the  true  preparation  for  this,  as 
well  as  its  blessed  foretaste  in  this  life,  are  granted 
only  to  those  who  abide  in  Him.  In  very  truth, 
there  is  nothing  that  moved  you  to  come,  that  does 
not  plead  with  thousandfold  greater  force:  'Abide  in 
Him.'  You  did  well  to  come;  you  do  better  to  abide. 
Who  would,  after  seeking  the  King's  palace,  be  con- 
tent to  stand  in  the  door,  when  he  is  invited  in  to 
dwell  in  the  King's  presence,  and  share  with  Him  in 
all  the  glory  of  His  royal  life?  Oh,  let  us  enter  in 
and  abide,  and  enjoy  to  the  full  all  the  rich  supply 
His  wondrous  love  hath  prepared  for  us! 

And  yet  I  fear  that  there  are  many  Avho  have  in- 
deed come  to  Jesus,  and  who  yet  have  mournfully  to 
confess  that  they  know  but  little  of  this  blessed  abid- 
ing in  Him.  With  some  the  reason  is,  that  they 
never  fully  understood  that  this  was  the  meaning  of 
the  Saviour's  call.  With  others,  that  though  they 
heard  the  word,  they  did  not  know  that  such  a  life  of 


ALL   YE  WHO  HAVE  COME  TO  HIM.  17 

abiding  fellowship  was  possible,  and  indeed  within 
their  reach.  Others  will  say  that,  though  they  did 
believe  that  such  a  life  was  possible,  and  seek  after  it, 
they  have  never  yet  succeeded  in  discovering  the 
secret  of  its  attainment.  And  others,  again,  alas! 
will  confess  that  it  is  their  own  unfaithfulness  that 
has  kept  them  from  the  enjoyment  of  the  blessing. 
When  the  Saviour  would  have  kept  them,  they  were 
not  found  ready  to  stay ;  they  were  not  prepared  to 
give  up  everything,  and  always,  only,  wholly  to  abide 
in  Jesus. 

To  all  such  I  come  now  in  the  name  of  Jesus,  their 
Redeemer  and  mine,  with  the  blessed  message: 
'Abide  in  me.^  In  His  name  I  invite  them  to  come, 
and  for  a  season  meditate  with  me  daily  on  its  mean- 
ing, its  lessons,  its  claims,  and  its  promises.  I  know 
how  many,  and,  to  the  young  believer,  how  difficult, 
the  questions  are  which  suggest  themselves  in  connec- 
tion with  it.  There  is  especially  the  question,  with 
its  various  aspects,  as  to  the  possibility,  in  the  midst 
of  wearying  work  and  continual  distraction,  of  keep- 
ing up,  or  rather  being  kept  in,  the  abiding  com- 
munion. I  do  not  undertake  to  remove  all  difficul- 
ties; this  Jesus  Christ  Himself  alone  must  do  by  His 
Holy  Spirit.  But  what  I  would  fain  by  the  grace  of 
God  be  permitted  to  do  is,  to  repeat  day  by  day  the 
Master's  blessed  command,  'Abide  in  me,'  until  it 
enter  the  heart  and  find  a  place  there,  no  more  to  be 
2 


18  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

forgotten  or  neglected.  I  would  fain  that  in  the 
light  of  Holy  Scripture  we  should  meditate  on  its 
meaning,  until  the  understanding,  that  gate  to  the 
heart,  opens  to  apprehend  something  of  what  it  offers 
and  expects.  So  we  shall  discover  the  means  of  its 
attainment,  and  learn  to  know  what  keeps  us  from 
it,  and  what  can  help  us  to  it.  So  we  shall  feel  its 
claims,  and  be  compelled  to  acknowledge  that  there 
can  be  no  true  allegiance  to  our  King  without  simply 
and  heartily  accepting  this  one,  too,  of  His  com- 
mands. So  we  shall  gaze  on  its  blessedness,  until 
desire  be  inflamed,  and  the  will  with  all  its  energies 
be  roused  to  claim  and  possess  the  unspeakable  bless- 
ing. 

Come,  my  brethren,  and  let  us  day  by  day  set  our- 
selves at  His  feet,  and  meditate  on  this  word  of  His, 
with  an  eye  fixed  on  Him  alone.  Let  us  set  our- 
selves in  quiet  trust  before  Him,  waiting  to  hear  His 
holy  voice, — ^the  still  small  voice  that  is  mightier 
than  the  storm  that  rends  the  rocks, — breathing  its 
quickening  spirit  within  us,  as  He  speaks:  'Abide  in 
me.'  The  soul  that  truly  hears  Jesus  Hiynself  speah 
the  ivord^  receives  with  the  word  the  power  to  accept 
and  to  hold  the  blessing  He  offers. 

And  it  may  please  Thee,  blessed  Saviour,  indeed, 
to  speak  to  us;  let  each  of  us  hear  Thy  blessed  voice. 
May  the  feeling  of  our  deep  need,  and  the  faith  of 
Thy  wondrous  love,  combined  with  the  sight  of  the 


ALL   YE  WHO  HAVE  COME  TO  HIM.  19 

wonderfully  blessed  life  Thou  art  waiting  to  bestow 
upon  us,  constrain  us  to 'listen  and  to  obey,  as  often 
as  Thou  speakest:  'Abide  in  me.'  Let  day  by  day 
the  answer  from  our  heart  be  clearer  and  fuller: 
*  Blessed  Saviour,  I  do  abide  in  Thee.' 


20  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


SECOND  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHKIST 

AND  YE  SHALL  FIND  REST  TO  YOUR  SOULS. 

'Come  unto  me,  and  I  will  give  you  rest.  Take  my  yoke 
upon  you,  and  learn  of  me ;  and  ye  shall  find  rest  to  your 
souls. '—Matt.  xi.  28,  29. 

ID  EST  for  the  soul:  Such  was  the  first  promise 
with  which  the  Saviour  sought  to  win  the  heavy- 
laden  sinner.  Simple  though  it  appear,  the  promise 
is  needed  as  large  and  comprehensive  as  can  be  found. 
Eest  for  the  soul,— does  it  not  imply  deliverance  from 
every  fear,  the  supply  of  every  want,  the  fulfilment 
of  every  desire?  And  now  nothing  less  than  this  is 
the  prize  with  which  the  Saviour  woos  back  the  wan- 
dering one — who  is  mourning  that  the  rest  has  not 
been  so  abiding  or  so  full  as  it  had  hoped — to  come 
back  and  abide  in  Him.  Nothing  but  this  was  the 
reason  that  the  rest  has  either  not  been  fonnd,  or,  if 
found,  has  been  disturbed  or  lost  again :  you  did  not 
abide  with,  you  did  not  abide  in  Him. 

Have  you  ever  noticed  how,  in  the  original  invita- 
tion of  the  Saviour  to  come  to  Him,  the  promise  of  rest 
was  repeated  twice,  with  such  a  variation  in  the  con- 
ditions as  might  have  suggested  that  abiding  rest 


AND  YE  SHALL  FIND  REST  TO  YOUR  SOULS,   21 

could  only  be  found  in  abiding  nearness.  First  the 
Saviour  says,  'Come  unto  me,  and  I  will  give  you 
rest;'  the  very  moment  you  come,  and  believe,  I  will 
give  you  rest, — the  rest  of  pardon  and  acceptance, — 
the  rest  in  my  love.  But  we  know  that  all  that  God 
bestows  needs  time  to  become  fully  our  own ;  it  must 
be  held  fast,  and  appropriated,  and  assimilated  into 
our  inmost  being;  without  this  not  even  Christ's  giv- 
ing can  make  it  our  very  own,  in  full  experience  and 
enjoyment.  And  so  the  Saviour  repeats  His  promise, 
in  words  which  clearly  speak  not  so  much  of  the  initial 
rest  with  which  He  welcomes  the  weary  one  who 
comes,  but  of  the  deeper  and  personally  appropriated 
rest  of  the  soul  that  abides  with  Him.  He  now  not 
only  says,  *Come  unto  me,'  but  *Take  my  yoke  upon 
you  and  learn  of  me ;'  become  my  scholars,  yield  your- . 
selves  to  my  training,  submit  in  all  things  to  my  will, 
let  your  whole  life  be  one  with  mine, — in  other  words, 
Abide  in  me.  And  then  He  adds,  not  only,  *I  will 
give,'  but  *ye  shall /^6? rest  to  your  souls.'  The  rest 
He  gave  at  coming  will  become  something  you  have 
really  found  and  made  your  very  own, — the  deeper 
the  abiding  rest  which  comes  from  longer  acquaint- 
ance and  closer  fellowship,  from  entire  surrender  and 
deeper  sympathy.  'Take  my  yoke,  and  learn  of  me,' 
'Abide  in  me,' — this  is  the  path  to  abiding  rest. 

Do  not  these  words  of  the  Saviour  discover  what  you 
have  perhaps  often  sought  in  vain  to  know,  how  it  is 


22  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

that  the  rest  you  at  times  enjoy  is  so  often  lost.  It 
must  have  been  this:  you  had  not  understood  how 
entire  surrender  to  Jesus  is  the  secret  of  perfect  rest. 
Giving  up  one's  whole  life  to  Him,  for  Him  alone  to 
rule  and  order  it;  taking  up  His  yoke,  and  submitting 
to  be  led  and  taught,  to  learn  of  Him ;  abiding  in 
Him,  to  be  and  do  only  what  He  wills; — these  are 
the  conditions  of  discipleship  without  which  there 
can  be  no  thought  of  maintaining  the  rest  that  was 
bestowed  on  first  coming  to  Christ.  The  rest  is  in 
Christ,  and  not  something  He  gives  apart  from  Him- 
self, and  so  it  is  only  in  having  Him  that  the  rest  can 
really  be  kept  and  enjoyed. 

It  is  because  so  many  a  young  believer  fails  to  lay 
hold  of  this  truth  that  the  rest  so  speedily  passes 
away.  With  some  it  is  that  they  really  did  not  know ; 
they  were  never  taught  how  Jesus  claims  the  un- 
divided allegiance  of  the  whole  heart  and  life;  how 
there  is  not  a  spot  in  the  whole  of  life  over  which  He 
does  not  wish  to  reign ;  how  in  the  very  least  things 
His  disciples  must  only  seek  to  please  Him.  They 
did  not  know  how  entire  the  consecration  was  that 
Jesus  claimed.  With  others,  who  had  some  idea  of 
what  a  very  holy  life  a  Christian  ought  to  lead,  the 
mistake  was  a  different  one:  they  could  not  believe 
such  a  life  to  be  a  possible  attainment.  Taking,  and 
bearing,  and  never  for  a  moment  laying  aside  the 
yoke  of  Jesus,  appeared  to  them  to  require  such  a 


AND  YE  SHALL  FIND  REST  TO  YOUR  SOULS.    23 

strain  of  effort,  and  such  an  amount  of  goodness,  as 
to  be  altogether  beyond  their  reach.  The  very  idea 
of  always,  all  the  day,  abiding  in  Jesus,  was  too 
high,— something  they  might  attain  to  after  a  life  of 
holiness  and  growth,  but  certainly  not  what  a  feeble 
beginner  was  to  start  with.  They  did  not  know  how, 
when  Jesus  said,  'My  yoke  is  easy,'  He  spoke  the 
truth;  how  just  the  yoke  gives  the  rest^  because  the 
moment  the  soul  yields  itself  to  obey,  the  Lord  Him- 
self gives  the  strength  and  joy  to  do  it.  They  did 
not  notice  how,  when  He  said,  'Learn  of  me,'  He 
added,  'I  am  meek  and  lowly  in  heart,'  to  assure 
them  that  His  gentleness  would  meet  their  every 
need,  and  bear  them  as  a  mother  bears  her  feeble 
child.  Oh,  thej  did  not  know  that  when  He  said, 
'Abide  in  me,'  He  only  asked  the  surrender  to  Him- 
self, His  almighty  love  would  hold  them  fast,  and  keep 
and  bless  them.  And  so,  as  some  had  erred  from  the 
want  of  full  consecration,  so  these  failed  because  they 
did  not  fully  trust.  These  two,  consecration  and 
faith,  are  the  essential  elements  of  the  Christian 
life, — the  giving  up  all  to  Jesus,  the  receiving  all 
from  Jesus.  They  are  implied  in  each  other;  they 
are  united  in  the  one  word — surrender.  A  full  sur- 
render is  to  obey  as  well  as  to  trust,  to  trust  as  well 
as  to  obey. 

With  such  misunderstanding  at  the  outset,  it  is  no 
wonder  that  the  disciple  life  was  not  one  of  such  joy 


24  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

or  strength  as  had  been  hoped.  In  some  things  yon 
were  led  into  sin  without  knowing  it,  because  you 
had  not  learned  how  wholly  Jesus  wanted  to  rule  you, 
and  how  you  could  not  keep  right  for  a  moment  un- 
less you  had  Him  very  near  you.  In  other  things 
you  knew  what  sin  was,  but  had  not  the  power  to 
conquer,  because  you  did  not  know  or  believe  how 
entirely  Jesus  would  take  charge  of  you  to  keep  and 
to  help  you.  Either  way,  it  was  not  long  before  the 
bright  joy  of  your  first  love  was  lost,  and  your  path, 
instead  of  being  like  the  path  of  the  just,  shining 
more  and  more  unto  the  perfect  day,  became  like 
Israel's  wandering  in  the  desert, — ever  on  the  way, 
never  very  far,  and  yet  always  coming  short  of  the 
promised  rest.  Weary  soul,  since  .so  many  years 
driven  to  and  fro  like  the  panting  hart,  0  come  and 
learn  this  day  the  lesson  that  there  is  a  spot  where 
safety  and  victory,  where  peace  and  rest,  are  always 
sure,  and  that  that  spot  is  always  open  to  thee— the 
heart  of  Jesus. 

But,  alas!  I  hear  some  one  say,  it  is  just  this 
abiding  in  Jesus,  always  bearing  His  yoke,  to  learn 
of  Him,  that  is  so  difficult,  and  the  very  efl:ort  to 
attain  to  this  often  disturbs  the  rest  even  more  than 
sin  or  the  world.  What  a  mistake  to  speak  thus,  and 
yet  how  often  the  words  are  heard!  Does  it  weary 
the  traveller  to  rest  in  the  house  or  on  the  bed  where 
he  seeks  repose  from  his  fatigue?     Or  is  it  a  labor  to 


AND  YE  SHALL  FIND  REST  TO  YOUR  SOULS,    25 

a  little  child  to  rest  in  its  mother's  arms?  Is  it  not 
the  house  that  keeps  the  traveller  within  its  shelter? 
do  not  the  arms  of  the  mother  sustain  and  keep  the 
little  one?  And  so  it  is  with  Jesus.  The  soul  has 
but  to  yield  itself  to  Him,  to  be  still  and  rest  in  the 
confidence  that  His  love  has  undertaken,  and  that 
His  faithfulness  will  perform,  the  work  of  keeping  it 
safe  in  the  shelter  of  His  bosom.  Oh,  it  is  because 
the  blessing  is  so  great  that  our  little  hearts  cannot 
rise  to  apprehend  it;  it  is  as  if  we  cannot  believe 
that  Christ,  the  Almighty  One,  will  in  very  deed  teach 
and  keep  us  all  the  day.  And  yet  this  is  just  what 
He  has  promised,  for  without  this  He  cannot  really 
give  us  rest.  It  is  as  our  heart  takes  in  this  truth 
that,  when  He  says,  *  Abide  in  me,'  'Learn  of  me,' 
He  really  means  it,  and  that  it  is  His  own  work  to 
keep  us  abiding  when  we  yield  ourselves  to  Him,  that 
we  shall  venture  to  cast  ourselves  into  the  arms  of 
His  love,  and  abandon  ourselves  to  His  blessed  keeping. 
It  is  not  the  yoke,  but  resistance  to  the  yoke,  that 
makes  the  difficulty;  the  whole-hearted  surrender  to 
Jesus,  as  at  once  our  Master  and  our  Keeper,  finds 
and  secures  the  rest. 

Come,  my  brother,  and  let  us  this  very  day  com- 
mence to  accept  the  word  of  Jesus  in  all  simplicity. 
It  is  a  distinct  command  this:  'Take  my  yoke,  and 
learn  of  me,'  'Abide  in  me.'  A  command  has  to  be 
obeyed.     The    obedient    scholar    asks  no   questions 


28  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

about  possibilities  or  results;  he  accepts  every  order 
in  the  confidence  that  his  teacher  has  provided  for  all 
that  is  needed.  The  power  and  the  perseverance  to 
abide  in  the  rest,  and  the  blessing  in  abiding, — it 
belongs  to  the  Saviour  to  see  to  this;  'tis  mine  to  obey, 
'tis  His  to  provide.  Let  us  this  day  in  immediate 
obedience  accept  the  command,  and  answer  boldly, 
\Saviour,  I  abide  in  Thee.  At  Thy  bidding  I  take 
Thy  yoke;  I  undertake  the  duty  without  delay;  I 
abide  in  Thee.'  Let  each  consciousness  of  failure 
only  give  new  urgency  to  the  command,  and  teach  us 
to  listen  more  earnestly  than  ever  till  the  Spirit  again 
give  us  to  hear  the  voice  of  Jesus  saying,  with  a  love 
and  authority  that  inspire  both  hope  and  obedience, 
*  Child,  abide  in  me.'  That  word,  listened  to  as  com- 
ing from  Himself,  will  be  an  end  of  all  doubting, — a 
Divine  promise  of  what  shall  surely  be  granted.  And 
with  ever-increasing  simplicity  its  meaning  will  be 
interpreted.  Abiding  in  Jesus  is  nothing  but  the 
giving  up  of  oneself  to  be  ruled  and  taught  and  led, 
and  so  resting  in  the  arms  of  Everlasting  Love. 

Blessed  rest!  the  fruit  and  the  foretaste  and  the 
fellowship  of  God's  own  rest!  found  of  them  who 
thus  come  to  Jesus  to  abide  in  Him.  It  is  the  peace 
of  God,  the  great  calm  of  the  eternal  world,  that 
passeth  all  understanding,  and  that  keeps  the  heart 
and  mind.  With  this  grace  secured,  we  have 
strength  for  every  duty,  courage  for  every  struggle, 


AND  YE  SHALL  FIND  REST  TO  YOUR  SOULS,    27 

a  blessing  in  every  cross,  and  the  joy  of  life  eternal 
in  death  itself. 

0  my  Saviour!  if  ever  my  heart  should  doubt  or 
fear  again,  as  if  the  blessing  were  too  great  to  expect, 
or  too  high  to  attain,  let  me  hear  Thy  voice  to  quicken 
my  faith  and  obedience:  *  Abide  in  me;'  *Take  my 
yoke  upon  you,  and  learn  of  me;  ye  shall  find  rest  to 
your  souls. ' 


28  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


THIRD  DAY. 


ABIDE   m   CHEIST 

TRUSTING  HIM  TO  KEEP  YOU. 

*I  follow  after,  if  that  I  may  apprehend  that  for  which  I 
also  am  apprehended  of  Christ  Jesus. ' — Phil.  iii.  13. 

MOEE  than  one  admits  that  it  is  a  sacred  duty  and 
a  blessed  privilege  to  abide  in  Christ,  but 
shrinks  back  continually  before  the  question :  Is  it 
possible,  a  life  of  unbroken  fellowship  with  the  Sa- 
viour? Eminent  Christians,  to  whom  special  oppor- 
tunities of  cultivating  this  grace  have  been  granted, 
may  attain  to  it:  for  the  large  majority, of  disciples, 
whose  life,  by  a  Divine  appointment,  is  so  fully  occu- 
pied with  the  affairs  of  this  life,  it  can  scarce  be 
expected.  The  more  they  hear  of  this  life,  the  deeper 
their  sense  of  its  glory  and  blessedness,  and  there  is 
nothing  they  would  not  sacrifice  to  be  made  partakers 
of  it.  But  they  are  too  weak,  too  unfaithful, — they 
never  can  attain  to  it. 

Dear  souls !  how  little  they  know  that  the  abiding 
in  Christ  is  just  meant  for  the  weak,  and  so  beauti- 
fully suited  to  their  feebleness.  It  is  not  the  doing 
of  some  great  thing,  and  does  not  demand  that  we 
first  lead  a  very  holy  and  devoted  life.     No,  it  is 


TRUSTING  HIM  TO  KEEP  YOU,  29 

simply  weakness  entrusting  itself  to  a  Mighty  One  to 
be  kept, — the  unfaithful  one  casting  self  on  One  who 
is  altogether  trustworthy  and  true.  Abiding  in  Him 
is  not  a  work  that  we  have  to  do  as  the  condition  for 
enjoying  His  salvation,  but  a  consenting  to  let  Him 
do  all  for  us,  and  in  us,  and  through  us.  It  is  a 
work  He  does  for  us, — the  fruit  and  the  power  of 
His  redeeming  love.  Our  part  is  simply  to  yield,  to 
trust,  and  to  wait  for  what  He  has  engaged  to 
perform. 

It  is  this  quiet  expectation  and  confidence,  resting 
on  the  word  of  Christ  that  in  Him  there  is  an  abid- 
ing place  prepared,  which  is  so  sadly  wanting  among 
Christians.  They  scarce  take  the  time  or  the  trouble 
to  realize  that  when  He  says  ^ Abide  IK  me,'  He  offers 
Himself,  the  Keeper  of  Israel  that  slumbers  not  nor 
sleeps,  with  all  His  power  and  love,  as  the  living  home 
of  the  soid^  where  the  mighty  influences  of  His  grace 
will  be  stronger  to  keep  than  all  their  feebleness  to 
lead  astray.  The  idea  they  have  of  grace  is  this, — 
that  their  conversion  and  pardon  are  God's  work,  but 
that  now,  in  gratitude  to  God,  it  is  their  work  to  live 
as  Christians,  and  follow  Jesus.  There  is  always  the 
thought  of  a  work  that  has  to  be  done,  and  even 
though  they  pray  for  help,  still  the  work  is  theirs. 
They  fail  continually,  and  become  hopeless;  and  the 
despondency  only  increases  the  helplessness.  No, 
wandering  one ;  as  it  was  Jesus  who  drew  thee  when 


30  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

He  spake  'Comey^  so  it  is  Jesus  who  keeps  thee  when 
He  says  ' Abide, '^  The  grace  to  come  and  the  grace 
to  abide  are  alike  from  Him  alone.  That  word, 
Come,  heard,  meditated  on,  accepted,  was  the  cord  of 
love  that  drew  thee  nigh ;  that  word  Abide  is  even  so 
the  band  with  which  He  holds  thee  fast  and  binds 
thee  to  Himself.  Let  the  soul  but  take  time  to  listen 
to  the  voice  of  Jesus.  'In  me^^  He  says,  'is  thy  place, 
— in  my  almighty  arms.  It  is  I  who  love  thee  so, 
who  speak  Abide  in  me;  surely  thou  canst  trust  me.' 
The  voice  of  Jesus  entering  and  dwelling  in  the  soul 
cannot  but  call  for  the  response:  *Yes,  Saviour,  m 
Thee  I  can,  I  will  abide.' 

Abide  in  me:  These  words  are  no  law  of  Moses, 
demanding  from  the  sinful  what  they  cannot  perform. 
They  are  the  command  of  love,  which  is  ever  only  a 
promise  in  a  different  shape.  Think  of  this  until 
all  feeling  of  burden  and  fear  and  despair  pass  away, 
and  the  first  thought  that  comes  as  you  hear  of  abid- 
ing in  Jesus  be  one  of  bright  and  joyous  hope:  it  is 
for  me,  I  know  I  shall  enjoy  it.  You  are  not  under 
the  law,  with  its  inexorable  Do,  but  under  grace,  with 
its  blessed  Believe  what  Christ  will  do  for  you.  And 
if  the  question  be  asked,  'But  surely  there  is  some- 
thing for  us  to  do?'  the  answer  is,  'Our  doing  and 
working  are  but  the  fruit  of  Christ's  work  in  us,' 
It  is  when  the  soul  becomes  utterly  passive,  looking 
and  resting  on  what  Christ  is  to  do,  that  its  energies 


TRUSTING  HIM  TO  KEEP  YOU.  31 

are  stirred  to  their  highest  activity,  and  that  we  work 
most  effectually  because  we  know  that  He  works  in 
us.  It  is  as  we  see  in  that  word  Ik  me  the  mighty 
energies  of  love  reaching  out  after  us  to  have  us  and 
to  hold  us,  that  all  the  strength  of  our  will  is  roused 
to  abide  in  Him. 

This  connection  between  Christ's  work  and  our 
work  is  beautifully  expressed  in  the  words  of  Paul : 
*I  follow  after,  if  that  1  may  apprehend  that  where- 
unto  /  also  am  apprehended  of  Christ  Jesus.'  It 
was  because  he  knew  that  the  mighty  and  the  faith- 
ful One  had  grasped  him  with  the  glorious  purpose 
of  making  him  one  with  Himself,  that  he  did  his 
utmost  to  grasp  the  glorious  prize.  The  faith,  the 
experience,  the  full  assurance,  'Christ  hath  appre- 
hended me,'  gave  him  the  courage  and  the  strength 
to  press  on  and  apprehend  that  whereunto  he  was 
apprehended.  Each  new  insight  of  the  great  end  for 
which  Christ  had  apprehended  and  was  holding  him, 
roused  him  afresh  to  aim  at  nothing  less. 

Paul's  expression,  and  its  application  to  the  Chris- 
tian life,  can  be  best  understood  if  we  think  of  a 
father  helping  his  child  to  mount  the  side  of  some 
steep  precipice.  The  father  stands  above,  and  has 
taken  the  son  by  the  hand  to  help  him  up.  He 
points  him  to  the  spot  on  which  he  will  help  him  to 
plant  his  feet,  as  he  leaps  upward.  The  leap  would 
be  too  high  and  dangerous  for  t4ie  child  alone;    but 


32  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

the  father's  hand  is  his  trust,  and  he  leaps  to  get 
hold  of  the  point  for  which  his  father  has  taken  hold 
of  him.  It  is  the  father's  strength  that  secures  him 
and  lifts  him  up,  and  so  urges  him  to  use  his  utmost 
strength. 

Such  is  the  relation  between  Christ  and  thee,  0 
weak  and  trembling  believer!  Fix  first  thine  eyes  on 
the  wheretmto  for  which  He  hath  apprehended  thee. 
It  is  nothing  less  than  a  life  of  abiding,  unbroken 
fellowship  with  Himself  to  which  He  is  seeking  to 
lift  thee  up.  All  that  thou  hast  already  received — 
pardon  and  peace,  the  Spirit  and  His  grace — are  but 
preliminary  to  this.  And  all  that  thou  seest  prom- 
ised to  thee  in  the  future — holiness  and  fruitfulness 
and  glory  everlasting— are  but  its  natural  outcome. 
Union  toith  Himself  ,  and  so  with  the  Father,  is  His 
highest  object.  Fix  thine  eye  on  this,  and  gaze  until 
it  stand  out  before  thee  clear  and  unmistakable: 
Christ's  aim  is  to  have  me  abiding  in  Him. 

And  then  let  the  second  thought  enter  thy  heart: 
Unto  this  I  am  apprehended  of  Christ.  His  almighty 
power  hath  laid  hold  on  me,  and  offers  now  to  lift  me 
up  to  where  He  would  have  me.  Fix  thine  eyes 
on  Christ.  Gaze  on  the  love  that  beams  in  those 
eyes,  and  that  asks  whether  thou  canst  not  trust 
Him,  who  sought  and  found  and  brought  thee 
nigh,  now  to  keep  thee.  Gaze  on  that  arm  of 
power,   and  say  whether  thou  hast  not  reason  to  be 


TRUSTING  HIM  TO  KEEP  YOU.  33 

assured  that  He  is  indeed  able  to  keep  thee  abiding 
in  Him. 

And  as  thou  thinkest  of  the  spot  whither  He  points, 
— the  blessed  whereunto  for  which  He  apprehended 
thee, — and  keepest  thy  gaze  fixed  on  Himself,  hold- 
ing thee  and  waiting  to  lift  thee  up,  0  say,  couldest 
thou  not  this  very  day  take  the  upward  step,  and  rise 
to  enter  upon  this,  blessed  life  of  abiding  in  Christ? 
Yes,  begin  at  once,  and  say,  '0  my  Jesus,  if  Thou 
biddest  me,  and  if  Thou  engagest  to  lift  and  keep 
me  there,  I  will  venture.  Trembling,  but  trusting, 
I  will  say:  Jesus,  I  do  abide  in  Thee.' 

My  beloved  fellow-believer,  go,  and  take  time  alone 
with  Jesus,  and  say  this  to  Him.  I  dare  not  speak 
to  you  about  abiding  in  Him  for  the  mere  sake  of 
calling  forth  a  pleasing  religious  sentiment.  God's 
truth  must  at  once  be  acted  on.  0  yield  yourself 
this  very  day  to  the  blessed  Saviour  in  the  surrender 
of  the  one  thing  He  asks  of  you :  give  up  yourself  to 
abide  in  Him.  He  Himself  will  work  it  in  you. 
You  can  trust  Him  to  keep  you  trusting  and  abiding. 

And  if  ever  doubts  again  arise,  or  the  bitter 
experience  of  failure  tempt  you  to  despair,  just  re- 
member where  Paul  found  His  strength :  'I  am  appre- 
hended of  Jesus  Christ. '  In  that  assurance  you  have 
a  fountain  of  strength.  From  that  you  can  look  up 
to  the  whereunto  on  which  He  has  set  His  heart,  and 
set  yours  there  too.  From  that  you  gather  confidence 
3 


34  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST. 

that  the  good  work  He  hath  begun  He  will  also  per- 
form. And  in  that  confidence  you  will  gather  cour- 
age, day  by  day,  afresh  to  say,  '"  I  follow  on,  that  I 
may  also  apprehend  that  for  which  I  am  apprehended 
of  Christ  Jesus."  It  is  because  Jesus  has. taken  hold 
of  me,  and  because  Jesus  keeps  me,  that  I  dare  to  say : 
*  Saviour,  I  abide  in  Thee.' 


AS  THE  BRANCH  IN  THE  VINE.  35 


FOUETH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHEIST 

AS  THE  BRANCH  IN  THE  VINE. 
*I  am  the  Vine,  ye  are  the  branches. ' — John  xv.  5. 

IT  was  in  connection  with  the  Parable  of  the  Vine 
that  our  Lord  first  used  the  expression,  'Abide  in 
me.'  That  parable,  so  simple,  and  yet  so  rich  in  its 
teaching,  gives  us  the  best  and  most  complete  illus- 
tration of  the  meaning  of  our  Lord's  command,  and 
the  union  to  which  He  invites  us. 

The  parable  teaches  us  the  nature  of  that  union. 
The  connection  between  the  vine  and  the  branch  is 
a  living  one.  No  external,  temporary  union  will 
suflBce;  no  work  of  man  can  effect  it:  the  branch, 
whether  an  original  or  an  engrafted  one,  is  such  only 
by  the  Creator's  own  work,  in  virtue  of  which  the 
life,  the  sap,  the  fatness,  and  the  fruitfulness  of  the 
vine  communicate  themselves  to  the  branch.  And 
just  so  it  is  with  the  believer  too.  His  union  with 
his  Lord  is  no  work  of  human  wisdom  or  human 
will,  but  an  act  of  God,  by  which  the  closest  and 
most  complete  life-union  is  effected  between  the  Son  of 
God  and  the  sinner.     *God  hath  sent  forth  the  spirit 


36  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

of  His  Son  into  your  hearts. '  The  same  Spirit  which 
dwelt  and  still  dwells  in  the  Son,  becomes  the  life  of 
the  believer;  in  the  unity  of  that  one  Spirit,  and  the 
fellowship  of  the  same  life  which  is  in  Christ,  he  is 
one  with  Him.  As  between  the  vine  and  branch,  it 
is  a  life-union  that  makes  them  one. 

The  parable  teaches  us  the  completeness  of  the 
union.  So  close  is  the  union  between  the  vine  and 
the  branch,  that  each  is  nothing  without  the  other, 
that  each  is  wholly  and  only  for  the  other. 

Without  the  vine  the  branch  can  do  nothing.  To 
the  vine  it  owes  its  right  of  place  in  the  vineyard,  its 
life  and  its  fruitfulness.  And  so  the  Lord  says, 
'Without  me  ye  can  do  nothing.'  The  believer  can 
each  day  be  pleasing  to  God  only  in  that  which  he 
does  through  the  power  of  Christ  dwelling  in  him. 
The  daily  inflowing  of  the  life-sap  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
is  his  only  power  to  bring  forth  fruit.  He  lives  alone 
in  Him  and  is  for  each  moment  dependent  on  Him 
alone. 

Without  the  hranch  the  vine  can  also  do  nothing,  A 
vine  without  branches  can  bear  no  fruit.  No  less 
indispensable  than  the  vine  to  the  branch,  is  the 
branch  to  the  vine.  Such  is  the  wonderful  con- 
descension of  the  grace  of  Jesus,  that  just  as  His 
people  are  dependent  on  Him,  He  has  made  Himself 
dependent  on  them.  Without  His  disciples  He  can- 
not dispense  His  blessing  to  thew^orld;    He  cannot 


AS  THE  BRANCH  IN  THE  VINE.  37 

ofiFer  sinners  the  grace  of  the  heavenly  Canaan. 
Marvel  not!  It  is  His  own  appointment;  and  this  is 
the  high  honour  to  which  He  has  called  His  re- 
deemed ones,  that  as  indispensable  as  He  is  to  them 
in  heaven,  that  from  Him  their  fruit  may  be  found, 
so  indispensable  are  they  to  Him  on  earth,  that 
through  them  His  fruit  may  be  found.  Believers, 
meditate  on  this,  until  your  soul  bows  to  worship  in 
presence  of  the  mystery  of  the  perfect  union  between 
Christ  and  the  believer. 

There  is  more:  as  neither  vine  nor  branch  is  any- 
thing without  the  other,  so  is  neither  anything  except 
for  the  other. 

All  the  vine  possesses  belongs  to  the  branches.  The 
vine  does  not  gather  from  the  soil  its  fatness  and  its 
sweetness  for  itself, — all  it  has  is  at  the  disposal  of 
the  branches.  As  it  is  the  parent,  so  it  is  the  servant 
of  the  branches.  And  Jesus,  to  whom  we  owe  our 
life,  how  completely  does  He  give  Himself  for  us  and 
to  us:  'The  glory  Thou  gavest  me,  I  have  given 
them;'  'He  that  believeth  in  me,  the  works  that 
I  do  shall  he  do  also;  and  greater  works  shall  he  do.' 
All  His  fulness  and  all  His  riches  are  for  thee,  0  be- 
liever; for  the  vine  does  not  live  for  itself,  keeps 
nothing  for  itself,  but  exists  only  for  the  branches. 
All  that  Jesus  is  in  heaven.  He  is  for  us:  He  has  no 
interest  there  separate  from  ours;  as  our  representa- 
tive He  stands  before  the  Father. 


38  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

% 

And  all  the  Iranch  possesses  ielongs  to  the  vine. 

The  branch  does  not  exist  for  itself,  but  to  bear  fruit 
that  can  proclaim  the  excellence  of  the  vine:  it  has 
no  reason  of  existence  except  to  be  of  service  to  the 
vine.  Glorious  image  of  the  calling  of  the  believer, 
and  the  entireness  of  his  consecration  to  the  service 
of  his  Lord.  As  Jesus  gives  Himself  so  wholly  over 
to  him,  he  feels  himself  urged  to  be  wholly  his 
Lord's.  Every  power  of  his  being,  every  moment  of 
his  life,  every  thought  and  feeling,  belong  to  Jesus, 
that  from  Him  and  for  Him  he  may  bring  forth 
fruits.  As  he  realizes  what  the  vine  is  to  the  branch, 
and  what  the  branch  is  meant  to  be  to  the  vine,  he 
feels  that  he  has  but  one  thing  to  think  of  and  to  live 
for,  and  that  is,  the  will,  the  glory,  the  work,  the 
kingdom  of  his  blessed  Lord, — the  bringing  forth  of 
fruit  to  the  glory  of  His  name. 

The  parable  teaches  us  the  olject  of  the  union. 
The  branches  are  ton  fruit  ^indi  fruit  alone.  'Every 
branch  that  beareth  not  fruit  He  taketh  away.*  The 
branch  needs  leaves  for  the  maintenance  of  its  own 
life,  and  the  perfection  of  its  fruit:  the  fruit  itself 
it  bears  to  give  away  to  those  around.  As  the  be- 
liever enters  into  his  calling  as  a  branch,  he  sees  that 
he  has  to  forget  himself, 'and  to  live  entirely  for  his 
fellowmen.  To  love  them,  to  seek  for  them,  and  to 
save  them,  Jesus  came:  for  this  every  branch  on  the 
Vine  has  to  live  as  much  as  the  Vine  itself.     It  is  for 


AS  THE  BRANCH  IN  THE  VINE.  39 

fruity  much  f7^uit,  that  the  Father  has  made  us  one 
with  Jesus. 

Wondrous  Parable  of  the  Vine, — unveiling  the 
mysteries  of  the  Divine  love,  of  the  heavenly  life,  of 
the  world  of  Spirit, — how  little  have  I  understood 
thee!  Jesus  the  living  Vine  in  heaven,  and  I  the 
living  branch  on  earth !  How  little  have  I  under- 
stood how  great  my  need,  but  also  how  perfect  my 
claim,  to  all  His  fulness!  How  little  understood 
how  great  His  need,  but  also  how  perfect  His  claim, 
to  my  emptiness!  Let  me,  in  its  beautiful  light, 
study  the  wondrous  union  between  Jesus  and  His 
people,  until  it  becomes  to  me  the  guide  into  full 
communion  with  my  beloved  Lord.  Let  me  listen 
and  believe,  until  my  whole  being  cries  out,  'Jesus  is 
indeed  to  me  the  True  Vine,  bearing  me,  nourishing 
me,  supplying  me,  using  me,  and  filling  me  to  the 
full  to  make  me  bring  forth  fruit  abundantly.' 
Then  shall  I  not  fear  to  say,  'I  am  indeed  a  branch 
to  Jesus,  the  True  Vine,  abiding  in  Him,  resting  on 
Him,  waiting  for  Him,  serving  Him,  and  living  only 
that  through  me,  too,  He  may  show  forth  the  riches  of 
His  grace,  and  give  His  fruit  to  a  perishing  world. 

It  is  when  we  try  thus  to  understand  the  meaning 
of  the  parable,  that  the  blessed  command  spoken  in 
connection  with  it  will  Come  home  to  us  in  its  true 
power.  The  thought  of  what  the  Vine  is  to  the 
branch,  and  Jesus  to  the  believer,  will  give  new  force 


40  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

to  the  words,  *  Abide  in  me!'  It  will  be  as  if  He 
says,  'Think,  soul,  how  completely  I  belong  to  thee. 
I  have  joined  myself  inseparably  to  thee;  all  the 
fulness  and  fatness  of  the  Vine  are  thine  in  very  deed. 
Now  thou  once  art  in  me,  be  assured  that  all  I  have 
is  wholly  thine.  It  is  my  interest  and  my  honour  to 
have  thee  a  fruitful  branch;  only  Abide  in  me. 
Thou  art  weak,  but  I  am  strong;  thou  art  poor,  but 
I  am  rich.  Only  abide  in  me;  yield  thyself  wholly 
to  my  teaching  and  rule;  simply  trust  my  love,  my 
grace,  my  promises.  Only  believe:  I  am  wholly 
thine;  I  am  the  Vine,  thou  art  the  branch.  Abide 
in  me.' 

What  say  est  thou,  0  my  soul?  Shall  I  longer 
hesitate,  or  withhold  consent?  Or  shall  I  not,  in- 
stead of  only  thinking  how  hard  and  how  difficult  it 
is  to  live  like  a  branch  of  the  True  Vine,  because  I 
thought  of  it  as  something  I  had  to  accomplish — 
shall  I  not  now  begin  to  look  upon  it  as  the  most 
blessed  and  joyful  thing  under  heaven?  Shall  I  not 
believe  that,  now  I  once  am  in  Eim,  He  Himself  will 
keep  me  and  enable  me  to  abide?  On  my  part,  abid- 
ing is  nothing  but  the  acceptance  of  my  position,  the 
consent  to  be  kept  there,  the  surrender  of  faith  to 
the  strong  Vine  still  to  hold  the  feeble  branch.  Yes, 
I  will,  I  do  abide  in  Thee,  blessed  Lord  Jesus. 

0  Saviour,  how  unspeakable  is  Thy  love!     *Such 


AS  THE  BRANCH  IN  THE  VINE.  41 

knowledge  is  too  wonderful  for  me:  it  is  high,  I  can- 
not attain  unto  it. '  I  can  only  yield  myself  to  Thy 
love  with  the  prayer  that,  day  by  day.  Thou  wouldest 
unfold  to  me  somewhat  of  its  precious  mysteries,  and 
so  encourage  and  strengthen  Thy  loving  disciple  to 
do  what  his  heart  longs  to  do  indeed, — ever  only 
wholly  to  abide  in  Thee. 


42  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


FIFTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHEIST 

AS  YOU  CAME  TO  HIM,  BY  FAITH. 

*As  ye  have  received  Christ  Jesus  the  Lord,  so  walk  ye 
IN  Him  :  rooted  and  built  up  in  Him,  and  stablished  in  the 
faith,  abounding  therein. ' — Col.  ii.  6,  7. 

IN  these  words  the  apostle  teaches  us  the  weighty 
lesson,  that  it  is  not  only  by  faith  that  we  first 
come  to  Christ  and  are  united  to  Him,  but  that  it  is 
by  faith  that  we  are  to  be  rooted  and  established  in 
our  union  with  Christ.  Not  less  essential  than  for 
the  commencement,  is  faith  for  the  progress  of  the 
spiritual  life.  Abiding  in  Jesus  can  only  be  by  faith. 
There  are  earnest  Christians  who  do  not  understand 
this;  or,  if  they  admit  it  in  theory,  they  fail  to  real- 
ize its  application  in  practice.  They  are  very  zealous 
for  a  free  gospel,  with  our  first  acceptance  of  Christ, 
and  justification  by  faith  alone.  But  after  this  they 
think  everything  depends  on  our  diligence  and  faith- 
fulness. While  they  firmly  grasp  the  truth,  *The 
sinner  shall  be  justified  by  faith,'  they  have  hardly 
found  a  place  in  their  scheme  for  the  larger  truth, 
*The  just  shall  live  by  faith.'  They  have  never 
understood  what  a  perfect  Saviour  Jesus  is,  and  how 


AS   YOU  CAME  TO  HIM,  BY  FAITH.  43 

He  will  each  day  do  for  the  sinner  just  as  much  as 
He  did  the  first  day  when  he  came  to  Him.  They 
know  not  that  the  life  of  grace  is  always  and  only  a 
life  of  faith,  and  that  in  the  relationship  to  Jesus  the 
one  daily  and  unceasing  duty  of  the  disciple  is  to 
believe,  because  believing  is  the  one  channel  through 
which  Divine  grace  and  strength  flow  out  into  the 
heart  of  man.  The  old  nature  of  the  believer  re- 
mains evil  and  sinful  to  the  last;  it  is  only  as  he  daily 
comes,  all  empty  and  helpless,  to  his  Saviour  to  re- 
ceive of  His  life  and  strength,  that  he  can  bring  forth 
the  fruits  of  righteousness  to  the  glory  of  God. 
Therefore  it  is:  ^Asye  have  received  Christ  Jesus 
the  Lord,  so  walk  ye  in  Him:  rooted  in  Him^  and 
stablished  in  thefaith^  abounding  therein.'  As  you 
came  to  Jesus,  so  abide  in  Him,  by  faith. 

And  if  you  would  know  how  faith  is  to  be  exercised 
and  thus  abiding  in  Jesus,  to  be  rooted  more  deeply 
and  firmly  in  Him,  you  have  only  to  look  back  to  the 
time  when  first  you  received  Him.  You  remember 
well  what  obstacles  at  that  time  there  appeared  to  be 
in  the  way  of  your  believing.  There  was  first  your 
vileness  and  guilt:  it  appeared  impossible  that  the 
promise  of  pardon  and  love  could  be  for  such  a  sin- 
ner. Then  there  was  the  sense  of  weakness  and  death : 
you  felt  not  the  power  for  the  surrender  and  the 
trust  to  which  you  were  called.  And  then  there  was 
the  future :  you  dared  not  undertake  to  be  a  disciple 


44  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

of  Jesus  while  you  felt  so  sure  that  you  could  not  re- 
main standing,  but  would  speedily  again  be  unfaith- 
ful and  fall.  These  difficulties  were  like  mountains 
in  your  way.  And  how  were  they  removed?  Simply 
by  the  word  of  God.  That  word,  as  it  were,  com- 
pelled you  to  believe  that,  notwithstanding  guilt  in 
the  past,  and  weakness  in  the  present,  and  unfaith- 
fulness in  the  future,  the  promise  was  sure  that  Jesus 
would  accept  and  save  you.  On  that  word  you  ven- 
tured to  come,  and  were  not  deceived:  you  found 
that  Jesus  did  indeed  accept  and  save. 

Apply  this,  your  experience  in  coming  to  Jesus,  to 
the  abiding  in  Him.  Now,  as  then,  the  temptations 
to  keep  you  from  believing  are  many.  When  you 
think  of  your  sins  since  you  became  a  disciple,  your 
heart  is  cast  down  with  shame,  and  it  looks  as  if  it 
were  too  much  to  expect  that  Jesus  should  indeed 
receive  you  into  perfect  intimacy,  and  the  full  enjoy- 
ment of  His  holy  love.  When  you  think  how  utterly, 
in  times  past,  you  have  failed  in  keeping  the  most 
sacred  vows,  the  consciousness  of  present  weakness 
makes  you  tremble  at  the  very  idea  of  answering  the 
Saviour's  command  with  the  promise,  'Lord,  from 
henceforth  I  will  abide  in  Thee.'  And  when  you  set 
before  yourself  the  life  of  love  and  joy,  of  holiness 
and  fruitfulness,  which  in  the  future  are  to  flow 
from  abiding  in  Him,  it  is  as  if  it  only  serves  to 
make  you  still  more  hopeless:  you,  at  least,  can  never 


AS   YOU  CAME  TO  HIM,  BY  FAITH.  45 

attain  to  it.  You  know  yourself  too  well.  It  is  no 
use  expecting  it,  only  to  be  disappointed ;  a  life  fully 
and  wholly  abiding  in  Jesus  is  not  for  you. 

Oh  that  you  would  learn  a  lesson  from  the  time  of 
your  first  coming  to  the  Saviour!  Eemember,  dear 
soul,  how  you  then  were  led,  contrary  to  all  that  your 
experience,  and  your  feelings,  and  even  your  sober 
judgment  said,  to  take  Jesus  at  His  word,  and  how 
you  were  not  disappointed.  He  did  receive  you,  and 
pardon  you;  He  did  love  you,  and  save  you — you 
know  it.  And  if  He  did  this  for  you  when  you  were 
an  enemy  and  a  stranger,  what  think  you,  now  that 
you  are  His  own,  will  He  not  much  more  fulfil  His 
promise?  Oh  that  you  would  come  and  begin  simply 
to  listen  to  His  word,  and  to  ask  only  the  one  ques- 
tion: Does  He  really  mean  that  I  should  abide  in 
Him?  The  answer  His  word  gives  is  so  simple  and 
so  sure:  By  His  almighty  grace  you  now  are  in  Him; 
that  same  almighty  grace  will  indeed  enable  you  to 
abide  in  Him.  By  faith  you  became  partakers  of  the 
initial  grace;  by  that  same  faith  you  can  enjoy  the 
continuous  grace  of  abiding  in  Him. 

And  if  you  ask  what  exactly  it  is  that  you  now 
have  to  believe  that  you  may  abide  in  Him,  the 
answer  is  not  difficult.  Believe  first  of  all  what  He 
says:  'I  am  the  Vine.'  The  safety  and  the  fruitful- 
ness  of  the  branch  depend  upon  the  strength  of  the 
vine.     Think  not  so  much  of  thyself  as  a  branch,  nor 


46  ABIDE  IN  CHBIST: 

of  the  abiding  as  thy  duty,  until  thou  hast  first  had 
thy  soul  filled  with  the  faith  of  what  Christ  as  the 
Vine  is.  He  really  will  ie  to  tliee  all  that  a  vine  can 
ie^ — holding  thee  fast,  nourishing  thee,  and  making 
Himself  every  moment  responsible  for  thy  growth  and 
thy  fruit.  Take  time  to  know,  set  thyself  heartily  to 
believe :  My  Vine,  on  whom  I  can  depend  for  all  I 
need,  is  Christ.  A  large,  strong  vine  bears  the  feeble 
branch,  and  holds  it  more  than  the  branch  holds  the 
vine.  Ask  the  Father  by  the  Holy  Ghost  to  reveal 
to  thee  what  a  glorious,  loving,  mighty  Christ  this  is 
in  whom  thou  hast  thy  place  and  thy  life;  it  is  the 
faith  in  what  Christ  is^  more  than  anything  else, 
that  will  keep  thee  abiding  in  Him.  A  soul  filled 
with  large  thoughts  of  the  Vine  will  be  a  strong 
branch,  and  will  abide  confidently  in  Him.  Be  much 
occupied  with  Jesus,  and  believe  much  in  Him,  as 
the  True  Vine. 

And  then,  when  Faith  can  well  say,  'He  is  my 
Vine,'  let  it  further  say,  'I  am  His  branch,  I  am  in 
Him.'  I  speak  to  those  who  say  they  are  Christ's 
disciples,  aud  on  them  I  cannot  too  earnestly  press 
the  importance  of  exercising  their  faith  in  saying,  'I 
am  in  Him.'  It  makes  the  abiding  so  simple.  If  I 
realize  clearly  as  I  meditate:  Now  I  am  in  Him,  I 
see  at  once  that  there  is  nothing  wanting  but  just  my 
consent  to  be  what  He  has  made  me,  to  remain  where 
He  has  placed  me.     /  am  in  Christ :     This  simple 


AS   YOU  CAME  TO  HIM,  BY  FAITH,  47 

thought,  carefully,  prayerfully,  believingly  uttered, 
removes  all  diflBculty  as  if  there  were  some  great 
attainment  to  be  reached.  No,  /  am.  in  Christy  my 
blessed  Saviour.  His  love  hath  prepared  a  home  for 
me  with  Himself,  when  He  says,  *  Abide  in  my  love;' 
and  His  power  has  undertaken  to  keep  the  door,  and 
to  keep  me  in,  if  I  will  but  consent.  I  am  ^V^  Christ: 
I  have  now  but  to  say,  *  Saviour,  I  bless  Thee  for  this 
wondrous  grace.  I  consent;  I  yield  myself  to  Thy 
gracious  keeping;  I  do  abide  in  Thee.' 

It  is  astonishing  how  such  a  faith  will  work  out  all 
that  is  further  implied  in  abiding  in  Christ.  There 
is  in  the  Christian  life  great  need  of  watchfulness  and 
of  prayer,  of  self-denial  and  of  striving,  of  obedience 
and  of  diligence.  But  *all  things  are  possible  to  him 
that  believeth. '  *This  is  the  victory  that  overcometh, 
even  our  faith.'  It  is  the  faith  that  continually 
closes  its  eyes  to  the  weakness  of  the  creature,  and 
finds  its  joy  in  the  sufficiency  of  an  Almighty  Saviour, 
that  makes  the  soul  strong  and  glad.  It  gives  itself 
up  to  be  led  by  the  Holy  Spirit  into  an  ever  deeper 
appreciation  of  that  wonderful  Saviour  whom  God 
hath  given  us, — the  Infinite  Immanuel.  It  follows 
the  leading  of  the  Spirit  from  page  to  page  of  the 
blessed  Word,  with  the  one  desire  to  take  each  revela- 
tion of  what  Jesus  is  and  what  He  promises  as  its 
nourishment  and  its  life.  In  accordance  with  the 
promise,  *If  that  which  we  have  heard  from  the  be- 


48  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

ginning  abide  in  you,  ye  shall  also  abide  in  the  Father 
and  the  Son,'  it  lives  by  every  word  that  proceedeth 
out  of  the  mouth  of  God.  And  so  it  makes  the  soul 
strong  with  the  strength  of  God,  to  be  and  to  do  all 
that  is  needed  for  abiding  in  Christ. 

Believer,  thou  wouldest  abide  in  Christ:  only  be- 
lieve. Believe  always ;  believe  now.  Bow  even  now 
before  thy  Lord,  and  say  to  Him  in  childlike  faith, 
that  because  He  is  thy  Vine,  and  thou  art  His  branch, 
thou  wilt  this  day  abide  in  Him. 

NOTE. 

*"I  am  the  True  Vine."  He  who  offers  us  the 
privilege  of  an  actual  union  with  Himself  is  the  great 
I  Am,  the  almighty  God,  who  upholds  all  things  by 
the  word  of  His  power.  And  this  almighty  God  re- 
veals Himself  as  our  perfect  Saviour,  even  to  the 
unimaginable  extent  of  seeking  to  renew  our  fallen 
natures  by  grafting  them  into  His  own  Divine  nature. 

'To  realize  the  glorious  Deity  of  Him  whose  call 
sounds  forth  to  longing  hearts  with  such  exceeding 
sweetness  is  no  small  step  towards  gaining  the  full 
privilege  to  which  we  are  invited.  But  longing  is  by 
itself  of  no  use;  still  less  can  there  be  any  profit  in 
reading  of  the  blessed  results  to  be  gained  from  a 
close  and  personal  union  with  our  Lord  if  we  ielieve 
that  union  to  te  practically  'beyond  our  reach.  His 
words  are  meant  to  be  a  living,  an  eternal  precious 
reality.  And  this  they  can  never  become  unless  we 
are  sure  that  we  may  reasonably  expect  their  accom- 
plishment.    But   what  could  make  the   accomplish- 


AS   YOU  CAME  TO  HIM,  BY  FAITH.  49 

ment  of  such  an  idea  possible — what  could  make  it 
reasonable  to  suppose  that  we  poor,  weak,  selfish 
creatures  full  of  sin  and  full  of  failures  might  be  saved 
out  of  the  corruption  of  our  nature  and  made  partak- 
ers of  the  holiness  of  our  Lord — except  the  fact,  the 
marvellous,  unalterable  fact  that  He  who  proposes  to 
us  so  great  a  transformation  is  Himself  the  everlast- 
ing God,  as  able  as  He  is  willing  to  fulfil  His  own 
word.  In  meditating,  therefore,  upon  these  utter- 
ances of  Christ,  containing  as  they  do  the  very  essence 
of  His  teaching,  the  very  concentration  of  His  love, 
let  us,  at  the  outset,  put  away  all  tende7icy  to  doubt. 
Let  us  not  alloiu  ourselves  so  much  as  to  question 
whether  such  erring  disciples  as  we  are  can  le  enalled 
to  attain  the  holiness  to  which  we  are  called  through  a 
close  and  intimate  union  with  our  Lord.  If  there  be 
any  impossibility,  any  falling  short  of  the  proposed 
blessedness,  it  will  arise  from  the  lack  of  earnest  de- 
sire on  our  part.  There  is  no  lack  in  any  respect  on 
His  part  who  puts  forth  the  invitation;  with  God 
there  can  be  no  shortcoming  in  the  fulfilment  of  His 
promise.' — The  Life  of  Fellowship;  Meditations  on 
John  XV.  1-11^  by  A.  M.  James. 

It  is  perhaps  necessary  to  say,  for  the  sake  of  young 
or  doubting  Christians,  that  there  is  something  more 
necessary  than  the  effort  to  exercise  faith  in  each 
separate  promise  that  is  brought  under  our  notice. 
What  is  of  even  greater  importance  is  the  cultivation 
of  a  trustful  disposition  towards  God,  the  habit  of 
always  thinking  of  Him,  of  His  ways  and  His  works, 
with  bright  confiding  hopefulness.  In  such  soil  alone 
can  the  individual  promises  strike  root  and  grow  np. 
In  a  little  work  entitled  the  Encouragements  to  Faith ^ 
4 


50  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

by  James  Kimball,  there  will  be  found  many  most 
suggestive  and  helpful  thoughts,  all  pleading  for  the 
right  God  has  to  claim  that  He  shall  be  trusted. 
The  Christianas  Secret  of  a  Happy  Life  is  another  lit- 
tle work  that  has  been  a  great  help  to  many.  Its 
bright  and  buoyant  tone,  its  loving  and  unceasing 
repetition  of  the  keynote, — we  may  indeed  depend  on 
Jesus  to  do  all  He  has  said,  and  more  than  we  can 
think, — has  breathed  hope  and  joy  into  many  a  heart 
that  was  almost  ready  to  despair  of  ever  getting  on. 
In  Frances  HavergaPs  Kept  for  the  Master's  Use 
there  is  the  same  healthful,  hope-inspiring  tone. 


GOD  HIMSELF  HAS   UNITED   YOU  TO  HIM.    51 


SIXTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHEIST 

GOD  HIMSELF  HAS  UNITED  YOU  TO  HIM. 

*0p  God  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  was  made  unto 
us  wisdom  from  God,  both  righteousness  and  sanctifica- 
tion,  and  redemption.'— 1  Cor.  i.  30  (R.  V.  marg,). 

*My  Father  is  the  Husbandman. '—John  xv.  1. 


'Y^ 


were  still  feeble  and  carnal,  only  babes  in  Christ. 
And  yet  Paul  wants  them,  at  the  outset  of  his  teach- 
ing, to  know  distinctly  that  they  are  in  Christ  Jesus. 
The  whole  Christian  life  depends  on  the  clear  con- 
sciousness of  our  position  in  Christ.  Most  essential 
to  the  abiding  in  Christ  is  the  daily  renewal  of  our 
faith's  assurance,  'I  am  in  Christ  Jesus.'  All  fruit- 
ful preaching  to  believers  must  take  this  as  its  start- 
ing-point: 'Ye  are  in  Christ  Jesus.' 

But  the  apostle  has  an  additional  thought,  of 
almost  greater  importance:  *0f  God  are  ye  in  Christ 
Jesus.'  He  would  have  us  not  only  remember  our 
union  to  Christ,  but  specially  that  it  is  not  our  own 
doing,  but  the  work  of  God  Himself.  As  the  Holy 
Spirit  teaches  us  to  realize  this,  we  shall  see  what  a 
source  of  assurance  and  strength  it  must  become  to 


52  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST 

US.  If  it  is  of  God  alone  that  I  am  in  Christ,  then 
God  Himself,  the  Infinite  One,  becomes  my  security 
for  all  I  can  need  or  wish  in  seeking  to  abide  in 
Christ. 

Let  me  try  and  understand  what  it  means,  this 
wonderful  *0f  God  in  Christ.'  In  becoming  par- 
takers of  the  union  with  Christ,  there  is  a  work  God 
does  and  a  work  we  have  to  do.  God  does  His  work 
by  moving  us  to  do  our  work.  The  work  of  God  is 
hidden  and  silent;  what  we  do  is  something  distinct 
and  tangible.  Conversion  and  faith,  prayer  and 
obedience,  are  conscious  acts  of  which  we  can  give  a 
clear  account;  while  the  spiritual  quickening  and 
strengthening  that  come  from  above  are  secret  and  be- 
yond the  reach  of  human  sight.  And  so  it  conies  that 
when  the  believer  tries  to  say,  *I  am  in  Christ  Jesus,' 
he  looks  more  to  the  work  he  did,  than  to  that  won- 
drous secret  work  of  God  by  which  he  was  united  to 
Christ.  Nor  can  it  well  be  otherwise  at  the  com- 
mencement of  the  Christian  course.  *I  know  that  I 
have  believed,'  is  a  valid  testimony.  But  it  is  of 
great  consequence  that  the  mind  should  be  led  to  see 
that  at  the  back  of  our  turning,  and  believing,  and 
accepting  of  Christ,  there  was  God's  almighty  power 
doing  its  work, — inspiring  our  will,  taking  possession 
of  us,  and  carrying  out  its  own  purpose  of  love  in 
planting  us  into  Christ  Jesus.  As  the  believer  enters 
into  this,  the  Divine  side  of  the  work  of  salvation,  he 


QOD  HIMSELF  HAS    UNITED   YOU  TO  HIM.    53 

will  learn  to  praise  and  to  worship  with  new  exulta- 
tion, and  to  rejoice  more  than  ever  in  the  divineness 
of  that  salvation  he  has  been  made  partaker  of.  At 
each  step  he  reviews,  the  song  will  come,  'This  is  the 
Lord's  doing,'— Divine  Omnipotence  working  out 
what  Eternal  Love  had  devised.  'Of  God  I  am  in 
Christ  Jesus.' 

The  words  will  lead  him  even  further  and  higher, 
even  to  the  depths  of  eternity.  'Whom  He  hath  pre- 
destinated, them  He  also  called.'  The  calling  in 
time  is  the  manifestation  of  the  purpose  in  eternity. 
Ere  the  world  was,  God  had  fixed  the  eye  of  His 
sovereign  love  on  thee  in  the  election  of  grace,  and 
chosen  thee  in  Christ.  That  thou  knowest  thyself  to 
be  in  Christ,  is  the  stepping-stone  by  which  thou  risest 
to  understand  in  its  full  meaning  the  word,  'Of  God 
I  am  in  Christ  Jesus.'  With  the  prophet,  thy 
language  will  be,  *The  Lord  hath  appeared  of  old 
unto  me:  yea,  I  have  loved  thee  with  an  everlasting 
love,  therefore  with  loving-kindness  have  I  drawn 
thee.'  And  thou  wilt  recognize  thine  own  salvation 
as  a  part  of  that  *  mystery  of  His  will,  according  to 
the  good  pleasure  of  His  will  which  He  purposed  in 
Himself,  and  join  with  the  whole  body  of  believers  in 
Christ  as  these  say,  'In  whom  we  also  have  obtained 
an  inheritance,  being  predestinated  according  to  the 
purpose  of  Him  who  worketh  all  things  after  the 
counsel  of  His  own  will.'     Nothing  will  more  exalt 


54  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

free  grace,  and  make  man  bow  very  low  before  it, 
than  this  knowledge  of  the  mystery  *0f  God  in 
Christ.' 

It  is  easy  to  see  what  a  mighty  influence  it  must 
exert  on  the  believer  who  seeks  to  abide  in  Christ. 
What  a  sure  standing-ground  it  gives  him,  as  he  rests 
his  right  to  Christ  and  all  His  fulness  on  nothing  less 
than  the  Father's  own  purpose  and  work!  We  have 
thought  of  Christ  as  the  Vine,  and  the  believer  as  the 
branch;  let  us  not  forget  that  other  precious  word, 
'My  Father  is  the  Husbandman.'  The  Saviour  said, 
*  Every  plant  which  my  Heavenly  Father  hath  not 
planted,  shall  be  rooted  up;'  but  every  branch  grafted 
by  Him  in  the  True  Vine,  shall  never  be  plucked  out 
of  His  hand.  As  it  was  the  Father  to  whom  Christ 
owed  all  He  was,  and  in  whom  He  had  all  His 
strength  and  His  life  as  the  Vine,  so  to  the  Father 
the  believer  owes  his  place  and  his  security  in  Christ. 
The  same  love  and  delight  with  which  the  Father 
watched  over  the  beloved  Son  Himself,  watches  over 
every  member  of  His  body,  every  one  who  is  in 
Christ  Jesus. 

What  confident  trust  this  faith  inspires, — not  only 
as  to  the  being  kept  in  safety  to  the  end,  but  specially 
as  to  the  being  able  to  fulfil  in  every  point  the  object 
for  which  I  have  been  united  to  Christ.  The  branch 
is  as  much  in  the  charge  and  keeping  of  the  husband- 
man as  the  vine;  his  honour  as  much  concerned  in 


GOD  HIMSELF  HAS   UNITED   YOU  TO  HIM.    55 

the  well-being  and  growth  of  the  branch  as  of  the 
vine.  The  God  who  chose  Christ  to  be  Vine  fitted 
Him  thoroughly  for  the  work  He  had  as  Vine  to 
perform.  The  God  who  has  chosen  me  and  planted 
me  in  Christ,  has  thereby  engaged  to  secure,  if  I  will 
but  let  Him,  by  yielding  myself  to  Him,  that  I  in 
every  way  be  worthy  of  Jesus  Christ.  Oh  that  I  did 
but  fully  realize  this!  What  confidence  and  urgency 
it  would  give  my  prayer  to  the  God  and  Father  of 
Jesus  Christ!  How  it  would  quicken  the  sense  of 
dependence,  and  make  me  see  that  praying  without 
ceasing  is  indeed  the  one  need  of  my  life,— an  un- 
ceasing waiting,  moment  by  moment,  on  the  God  who 
hath  united  me  to  Christ,  to  perfect  His  own  Divine 
work,  to  work  in  me  both  to  will  and  to  do  of  His 
good  pleasure. 

And  what  a  motive  this  would  be  for  the  highest 
activity  in  the  maintenance  of  a  fruitful  branch-life! 
Motives  are  mighty  powers;  it  is  of  infinite  import- 
ance to  have  them  high  and  clear.  Here  surely  is  the 
highest:  'You  are  God's  workmanship,  created  in 
Christ  Jesus  unto  good  works:'  grafted  by  Him  into 
Christ,  unto  the  bringing  forth  of  much  fruit. 
Whatever  God  creates  is  exquisitely  suited  to  its  end. 
He  created  the  sun  to  give  light :  how  perfectly  it  does 
its  work !  He  created  the  eye  to  see :  how  beautifully 
it  fulfils  its  object!  He  created  the  new  man  unto 
good  works:  how  admirably  it  is  fitted  for  its  purpose. 


o6  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Of  God  I  am  in  Christ:  created  anew,  made  a 
branch  of  the  Vine,  fitted  for  fruit-bearing.  Would 
God  that  believers  would  cease  looking  most  at  their 
old  nature,  and  complaining  of  their  weakness,  as  if 
God  called  them  to  what  they  were  unfitted  for! 
Would  that  they  would  believingly  and  joyfully  ac- 
cept the  wondrous  revelation  of  how  God,  in  uniting 
them  to  Christ,  has  made  Himself  chargeable  for 
their  spiritual  growth  and  fruitfulness.  How  all 
sickly  hesitancy  and  sloth  would  disappear,  and  under 
the  influence  of  this  mighty  motive — the  faith  in  the 
faithfulness  of  Him  of  whom  they  are  in  Christ — 
their  whole  nature  would  rise  to  accept  and  fulfil 
their  glorious  destiny! 

0  my  soul !  yield  thyself  to  the  mighty  influence 
of  this  word:  'Of  God  ye  are  in  Christ  Jesus.'  It 
is  the  same  God  of  v^hom  Christ  is  made  all  that  He 
is  for  us,  OF  WHOM  we  also  are  in  Christ,  and  will 
most  surely  be  made  what  we  must  be  to  Him.  Take 
time  to  meditate  and  to  worship,  until  the  light  that 
comes  from  the  throne  of  God  hath  shone  into  thee, 
and  thou  hast  seen  thy  union  to  Christ  as  in  deed 
the  work  of  His  almighty  Father.  Take  time,  day 
after  day,  and  let,  in  thy  whole  religious  life,  with 
all  it  has  of  claims  and  duties,  of  needs  and  wishes, 
God  be  everything.  See  Jesus,  as  He  speaks  to  thee, 
'Abide  in  me,'  pointing  upward  and  saying,  *My 
Fathek  is  the  HusBAN"DMAisr.     Of  Him  thou  art 


GOD  HIMSELF  HAS   UNITED   YOU  TO  HIM.    57 

in  me,  through  Him  thou  abidest  in  me,  and  to  Him 
and  to  His  glory  shall  be  the  fruit  thou  bearest.' 
And  let  thy  answer  be,  Amen,  Lord!  So  be  it. 
From  eternity  Christ  and  I  were  ordained  for  each 
other;  inseparably  we  belong  to  each  other:  it  is 
God's  will ;  I  shall  abide  in  Christ.  It  is  of  God  I 
am  in  Christ  Jesus. 


68  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


SEVENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHEIST 

AS  YOUR  WISDOM. 

'  Of  God  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  was  made  unto  us 
WISDOM  from  God,  both  righteousness  and  sanctification, 
and  redemption. ' — 1  COR.  i.  30  (R.  V.  marg.). 

JESUS  OHEIST  is  not  only  Priest  to  purchase, 
and  King  to  secure,  but  also  Prophet  to  reveal 
to  us  the  salvation  which  God  hath  prepared  for  them 
that  love  Him.  Just  as  at  the  creation  the  light  was 
first  called  into  existence,  that  in  it  all  God's  other 
works  might  have  their  life  and  beauty,  so  in  our 
text  wisdom  is  mentioned  first  as  the  treasury  in 
which  are  to  be  found  the  three  precious  gifts  that 
follow.  The  life  is  the  light  of  man;  it  is  in  reveal- 
ing to  us,  and  making  us  behold  the  glory  of  God  in 
His  own  face,  that  Christ  makes  us  partakers  of 
eternal  life.  It  was  by  the  tree  of  knowledge  that 
sin  came;  it  is  through  the  knowledge  that  Christ 
gives  that  salvation  comes.  He  is  made  of  God  unto 
us  wisdom.  In  Him  ar«  hid  all  the  treasures  of 
wisdom  and  knowledge. 

And  of  God  you  are  in  Hiw.^  and  have  but  to  abide 
in  Him,  to  be  made  partaker  of  these  treasures  of 


AS   YOUR   WISDOM.  59 

wisdom.  In  Him  you  are,  and  in  Him  the  wisdom 
is;  dwelling  in  Him,  you  dwell  in  the  very  fountain 
of  all  light;  abiding  in  Him,  you  have  Christ  the 
wisdom  of  God  leading  your  whole  spiritual  life,  and 
ready  to  communicate,  in  the  form  of  knowledge, 
just  as  much  as  is  needful  for  you  to  know.  Christ 
is  made  unto  us  wisdom;  ye  are  in  Christ. 

It  is  this  connection  between  what  Christ  has  been 
made  of  God  to  us,  and  how  we  have  it  only  as  also 
being  in  Him,  that  we  must  learn  to  understand 
better.  "We  shall  thus  see  that  the  blessings  prepared 
for  us  in  Christ  cannot  be  obtained  as  special  gifts  in 
answer  to  prayer  apart  from  the  aliding  in  Him, 
The  answer  to  each  prayer  must  come  in  the  closer 
union  and  the  deeper  abiding  in  Him ;  in  Him,  the 
unspeakable  gift,  all  other  gifts  are  treasured  up,  the 
gift  of  wisdom  and  knowledge  too. 

How  often  have  you  longed  for  wisdom  and  spirit- 
ual understanding  that  you  might  hnow  God  better, 
whom  to  know  is  life  eternal!  Abide  in  Jesus:  your 
life  in  Him  will  lead  you  to  that  fellowship  with  God 
in  which  the  only  true  knowledge  of  God  is  to  be  had. 
His  love.  His  power.  His  infinite  glory  will,  as  you 
abide  in  Jesus,  be  so  revealed  as  it  hath  not  entered 
into  the  heart  of  man  to  conceive.  You  may  not  be 
able  to  grasp  it  with  the  understanding,  or  to  express 
it  in  words;  but  the  knowledge  which  is  deeper  than 
thoughts  or  words  will  be  given, — the  knowing  of 


60  ABIDE  IN  CUEIST: 

God  which  comes  of  being  known  of  Him.  'We 
preach  Christ  crucified  unto  them  which  are  called, 
Christ  the  power  of  God,  and  the  wisdom  of  God.' 

Or  you  would  fain  count  all  things  but  loss  for  the 
excellency  of  the  knowledge  of  Jesus  Christ  your  Lord. 
Abide  in  Jesus,  and  be  found  in  Him.  You  shall 
know  Him  in  the  power  of  His  resurrection  and  the 
fellowship  of  His  sufferings.  Following  Him,  you 
shall  not  walk  in  darkness,  but  have  the  light  of  life. 
It  is  only  when  God  shines  into  the  heart,  and  Christ 
Jesus  dwells  there,  that  the  light  of  the  knowledge 
of  God  in  the  face  of  Christ  can  be  seen. 

Or  would  you  understand  His  blessed  ivorh^  as  He 
wrought  it  on  earth,  or  works  it  from  heaven  by  His- 
Spirit?  Would  you  know  how  Christ  can  become 
our  righteousness,  and  our  sanctification,  and  redemp- 
tion? It  is  just  as  bringing,  and  revealing,  and 
communicating  these  that  He  is  made  unto  us  wisdom 
from  God.  There  are  a  thousand  questions  that  at 
times  come  up,  and  the  attempt  to  answer  them  be- 
comes a  weariness  and  a  burden.  It  is  because  you 
have  forgotten  you  are  in  Christ,  whom  God  has  made 
to  be  your  wisdom.  Let  it  be  your  first  care  to  abide 
in  Him  in  undivided  fervent  devotion  of  heart;  when 
the  heart  and  the  life  are  right,  rooted  in  Christ, 
knowledge  will  come  in  such  measure  as  Christ's  own 
wisdom  sees  meet.  And  without  sucli  abiding  in 
Christ  the  knowledge  does  not  really  profit,  but  is 


AS   YOUR   WISDOM,  61 

often  most  hurtful.  The  soul  satisfies  itself  with 
thoughts  which  are  but  the  forms  and  images  of 
truth,  without  receiving  the  truth  itself  in  its  power. 
God's  way  is  ever  first  to  give  us,  even  though  it  be 
but  as  a  seed,  the  thing  itself,  the  life  and  the  power,  , 
and  then  the  knowledge.  Man  seeks  the  knowledge 
first,  and  often,  alas!  never  gets  beyond  it.  God 
gives  us  Christ,  and  in  Him  hid  the  treasures  of 
wisdom  and  knowledge.  0  let  us  be  content  to  possess 
Christ,  to  dwell  in  Him,  to  make  Him  our  life,  and 
only  in  a  deeper  searching  into  Him,  to  search  and 
find  the  knowledge  we  desire.  Such  knowledge  is 
life  indeed.. 

Therefore,  believer,  abide  in  Jesus  as  your  wisdom, 
and  expect  from  Him  most  confidently  whatever 
teaching  you  may  need  for  a  life  to  the  glory  of  the 
Father.  In  all  that  concerns  your  spiritual  life^ 
abide  in  Jesus  as  your  wisdom.  The  life  you  have  in 
Christ  is  a  thing  of  infinite  sacredness,  far  too  high 
and  holy  for  you  to  know  how  to  act  it  out.  It  is 
He  alone  who  can  guide  you,  as  by  a  secret  spiritual 
instinct,  to  know  what  is  becoming  your  dignity  as 
a  child  of  God,  what  will  help  and  what  will  hinder 
your  inner  life,  and  especially  your  abiding  in  Him. 
Do  not  think  of  it  as  a  mystery  or  a  difficulty  you 
must  solve.  Whatever  questions  come  up  as  to  the 
possibility  of  abiding  perfectly  and  uninterruptedly 
in  Him,  and  of  really  obtaining  all  the  blessing  that 


62  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

comes  from  it,  always  remember:  He  knows,  all  is 
perfectly  clear  to  Him,  and  He  is  my  wisdom.  Just 
as  much  as  you  need  to  know  and  are  capable  of  ap- 
prehending, will  be  communicated,  if  you  only  trust 
Him.  Never  think  of  the  riches  of  wisdom  and 
knowledge  hid  in  Jesus  as  treasures  without  a  key, 
or  of  your  way  as  a  path  without  a  light.  Jesus  your 
wisdom  is  guiding  you  in  the  right  way,  even  when 
you  do  not  see  it. 

In  all  your  intercourse  with  the  Messed  Word^  re- 
member the  same  truth :  abide  in  Jesus,  your  wisdom. 
Study  much  to  know  the  written  Word;  but  study 
more  to  know  the  living  Word,  in  whom  you  are  of 
God.  Jesus,  the  wisdom  of  God,  is  only  known  by  a 
life  of  implicit  confidence  and  obedience.  The  words 
He  speaks  are  spirit  and  life  to  those  tvho  live  in  Him, 
Therefore,  each  time  you  read,  or  hear,  or  meditate 
upon  the  Word,  be  careful  to  take  up  your  true  posi- 
tion. Eealize  first  your  oneness  with  Him  who  is  the 
wisdom  of  God;  know  yourself  to  be  under  His  direct 
and  special  training;  go  to  the  Word  abiding  in  Him, 
the  very  fountain  of  Divine  light, — in  His  light  you 
shall  see  light. 

In  all  your  daily  life^  its  ways  and  its  work,  abide 
in  Jesus  as  your  wisdom.  Your  body  and  your  daily 
life  share  in  the  great  salvation :  in  Christ,  the  wisdom 
of  God,  provision  has  been  made  for  their  guidance 
too.     Your  body  is  His  temple,  your  daily  life  the 


AS   YOUR   WISDOM.  63 

sphere  for  glorifying  Him :  it  is  to  Him  a  matter  of 
deep  interest  that  all  your  earthly  concerns  should 
be  guided  aright.  Only  trust  His  sympathy,  believe 
His  love,  and  wait  for  His  guidance, — it  will  be 
given.  Abiding  in  Him,  the  mind  will  be  calmed 
and  freed  from  passion,  the  judgment  cleared  and 
strengthened,  the  light  of  heaven  will  shine  on 
earthly  things,  and  your  prayer  for  wisdom,  like 
Solomon's,  will  be  fulfilled  above  what  you  ask  or 
think. 

And  so,  especially  in  any  worJc  you  do  for  God, 
abide  in  Jesus  as  your  wisdom.  'We  are  created  in 
Christ  Jesus  unto  good  works,  which  God  hath  be- 
fore ordained  that  we  should  walk  in  them ;'  let  all 
fear  or  doubt  lest  we  should  not  know  exactly  what 
these  works  are,  be  put  far  away.  In  Christ  we  are 
created  for  them:  He  will  show  us  what  they  are,  and 
how  to  do  them.  Cultivate  the  habit  of  rejoicing  in 
the  assurance  that  the  Divine  wisdom  is  guiding  you 
even  where  you  do  not  yet  see  the  way. 

All  that  you  can  wish  to  know  is  perfectly  clear  to 
Him.  As  Man,  as  Mediator,  He  has  access  to  the 
counsels  of  Deity,  to  the  secrets  of  Providence,  in 
your  interest,  and  on  your  behalf.  If  you  will  but 
trust  Him  fully,  and  abide  in  Him  entirely,  you  can 
be  confident  of  having  unerring  guidance. 

Yes,  abide  in  Jesus  as  your  wisdom.  Seek  to 
maintain  the  spirit  of  waiting  and  dependence,  that 


64  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

always  seeks  to  learn,  and  will  not  move  but  as  the 
heavenly  light  leads  on.  Withdraw  yourself  from  all 
needless  distraction,  close  your  ears  to  the  voices  of 
the  world,  and  be  as  a  docile  learner,  ever  listening  for 
the  heavenly  wisdom  the  Master  has  to  teach.  Sur- 
render all  your  own  wisdom;  seek  a  deep  conviction 
of  the  utter  blindness  of  the  natural  understanding 
in  the  things  of  God;  and  both  as  to  what  you  have 
to  believe  and  have  to  do,  wait  for  Jesus  to  teach  and 
to  guide.  Kememberthat  the  teaching  and  guidance 
come  not  from  without:  it  is  by  His  life  in  us  that 
the  Divine  wisdom  does  His  work.  Eetire  frequently 
with  Him  into  the  inner  chamber  of  the  heart,  where 
the  gentle  voice  of  the  Spirit  is  only  heard  if  all  be 
still.  Hold  fast  with  unshaken  confidence,  even  in 
the  midst  of  darkness  and  apparent  desertion.  His 
own  assurance  that  He  is  the  light  and  the  leader  of 
His  own.  And  live,  above  all,  day  by  day  in  the 
blessed  truth  that,  as  He  Himself,  the  living  Christ 
Jesus,  is  your  wisdom,  your  first  and  last  care  must 
ever  be  this  alone, — to  abide  in  Him.  Abiding  in 
Him,  His  wisdom  will  come  to  you  as  the  spontaneous 
outflowing  of  a  life  rooted  in  Him.  I  am,  I  abide  in 
Christ,  who  was  made  unto  us  wisdom  from  God; 
wisdom  will  be  given  me. 


AS   YOUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS,  65 


EIGHTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHKIST 

AS  YOUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS. 

'Of  God  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  was  made  unto  us 
wisdom  from  God,  both  righteousness  and  sanctification, 
and  redemption. ' — 1  Cor.  i.  30  (R.  V.  marg.). 

THE  first  of  the  great  blessings  which  Christ  our 
wisdom  reveals  to  us  as  prepared  in  Himself,  is — 
Kighteousness.  It  is  not  difficult  to  see  why  this 
must  be  first. 

There  can  be  no  real  prosperity  or  progress  in  a 
nation,  a  home,  or  a  soul,  unless  there  be  peace.  As 
not  even  a  machine  can  do  its  work  unless  it  be  in 
rest,  secured  on  a  good  foundation,  quietness  and 
assurance  are  indispensable  to  our  moral  and  spiritual 
well-being.  Sin  had  disturbed  all  our  relations;  we 
were  out  of  harmony  with  ourselves,  with  men,  and 
with  God.  The  first  requirement  of  a  salvation  that 
should  really  bring  blessedness  to  us  was  peace.  And 
peace  can  only  come  with  right.  Where  everything 
is  as  God  would  have  it,  in  God's  order  and  in  har- 
mony with  His  will,  there  alone  can  peace  reign. 
Jesus  Christ  came  to  restore  peace  on  earth,  and  peace 
in  the  soul,  by  restoring  righteousness.  Because  He 
5 


"66  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

is  Melchizedek,  King  of  Eighteousness,  He  reigns  as 
King  of  Salem,  King  of  Peace  {Hel,  vii.  2).  He  so 
fulfils  the  promise  the  prophets  held  out:  *A  King 
shall  reign  in  righteousness :  and  the  work  of  right* 
eousness  shall  be  peace,  and  the  effect  of  righteous- 
ness, quietness  and  assurance  for  ever'  {Isa,  xxxii.  i, 
17).  Christ  is  made  of  God  unto  us  righteousness; 
of  God  we  are  in  Him  as  our  righteousness;  we  are 
made  the  righteousness  of  God  in  Him.  Let  us  try 
and  understand  what  this  means. 

When  first  the  sinner  is  led  to  trust  in  Christ  for 
salvation,  he,  as  a  rule,  looks  more  to  His  work  than 
His  person. 

As  he  looks  at  the  Cross,  and  Christ  suffering 
there,  the  Kighteous  One /or  the  unrighteous,  he  sees 
in  that  atoning  death  the  only  but  sufficient  founda- 
tion for  his  faith  in  God's  pardoning  mercy.  The 
substitution,  and  the  curse-bearing,  and  the  atone- 
ment of  Christ  dying  in  the  stead  of  sinners,  are 
what  give  him  peace.  And  as  he  understands  how 
the  righteousness  which  Christ  brings  becomes  his 
very  own,  and  how,  in  the  strength  of  that,  he  is 
counted  righteous  before  God,  he  feels  that  he  has 
what  he  needs  to  restore  him  to  God's  favour:  *  Being 
justified  by  faith,  we  have  peace  with  God.'  He 
seeks  to  wear  this  robe  of  righteousness  in  the  ever 
renewed  faith  in  the  glorious  gift  of  righteousness 
which  has  been  bestowed  upon  him. 


AS    YOUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS.  67 

But  as  time  goes  on,  and  he  seeks  to  grow  in  the 
Christian  life,  new  needs  arise.  He  wants  to  under- 
stand more  fully  how  it  is  that  God  can  thus  justify 
the  ungodly  on  the  strength  of  the  righteousness  of 
another.  He  finds  the  answer  in  the  wonderful 
teaching  of  Scripture  as  to  the  true  union  of  the 
believer  with  Christ  as  the  second  Adam.  He  sees 
that  it  is  because  Christ  had  made  Himself  one  with 
His  people,  and  they  were  one  with  Him;  that  it 
was  in  perfect  accordance  with  all  law  in  the  kingdom 
of  nature  and  of  heaven,  that  each  member  of  the 
body  should  have  the  full  benefit  of  the  doing  and  the 
suffering  as  of  the  life  of  the  head.  And  so  he  is  led 
to  feel  that  it  can  only  be  in  fully  realizing  his  per- 
sonal union  with  Christ  as  the  head,  that  he  can 
fully  experience  the  power  of  His  righteousness  to 
bring  the  soul  into  the  full  favour  and  fellowship  of 
the  Holy  One.  The  work  of  Christ  does  not  become 
less  precious,  but  the  person  of  Christ  more  so;  the 
work  leads  up  into  the  very  heart,  the  love  and  the 
life  of  the  God-man. 

And  this  experience  sheds  its  light  again  upon 
Scripture.  It  leads  him  to  notice,  what  he  had 
scarce  remarked  before,  how  distinctly  the  righteous- 
ness of  God,  as  it  becomes  ours,  is  connected  with  the 
person  of  the  Eedeemer.  'This  is  His  name  whereby 
He  shall  be  called,  Jehovah  our  righteousiii^ess.  ' 
*Ik  Jehovah  have  I  righteousness  and   strength.' 


68  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

'Of  God  is  He  made  unto  ns  righteousness.'  'That 
we  might  be  made  the  righteousness  of  God  in  Him.' 
'That  I  may  be  found  in  Him,  having  the  righteous- 
ness of  God.'  He  sees  how  inseparable  righteousness 
and  life  in  Christ  are  from  each  other:  'The  right- 
eousness of  one  comes  upon  all  unto  jiistification  of 
life,''  'They  which  receive  the  gift  of  righteousness 
shall  reign  in  life  by  one,  Jesus  Christ.'  And  he 
understands  what  deep  meaning  there  is  in  the  key- 
word of  the  Epistle  to  the  Eomans:  'The  righteous 
shall  live  by  faith.'  He  is  not  now  content  with  only 
thinking  of  the  imputed  righteousness  as  his  robe; 
but,  putting  on  Jesus  Christ,  and  seeking  to  be 
wrapped  up  in,  to  be  clothed  upon  with  Himself  and 
His  life^  he  feels  how  completely  the  righteousness  of 
God  is  his,  because  the  Lord  our  righteousness  is  his. 
Before  he  understood  this,  he  too  often  felt  it  difficult 
to  wear  his  white  robe  all  the  day:  it  was  as  if  he 
specially  had  to  put  it  on  when  he  came  into  God's 
presence  to  confess  his  sins,  and  seek  new  grace.  But 
now  the  living  Christ  Himself  is  his  righteousness, — 
that  Christ  who  watches  over,  and  keeps  and  loves  us 
as  His  own;  it  is  no  longer  an  impossibility  to  walk 
all  the  day  enrobed  in  the  loving  presence  with  which 
He  covers  His  people. 

Such  an  experience  leads  still  further.  The  life 
and  the  righteousness  are  inseparably  linked,  and  the 
believer  becomes  more  conscious   than  before  of  a 


AS  YOUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS,  69 

righteous  nature  planted  within  him.  The  new  man 
created  in  Christ  Jesus,  is  'created  in  righteousness 
and  true  holiness.'  'He  that  doeth  righteousness  is 
righteous,  even  as  He  is  righteous. '  The  union  to 
Jesus  has  eflEected  a  change  not  only  in  the  relation  to 
God,  but  in  the  personal  state  before  God.  And  as 
the  intimate  fellowship  to  which  the  union  has 
opened  up  the  way  is  maintained,  the  growing  re- 
newal of  the  whole  being  makes  righteousness  to  be 
his  very  nature. 

To  a  Christian  who  begins  to  see  the  deep  meaning 
of  the  truth,  'He  is  made  to  us  righteousness,'  it  is 
hardly  necessary  to  say,  'Abide  in  Him.'  As  long  as 
he  only  thought  of  the  righteousness  of  the  substitute, 
and  our  being  counted  judicially  righteous  for  His 
sake,  the  absolute  necessity  of  abiding  in  Hi7n  was  not 
apparent.  But  as  the  glory  of  'Jehovah  our  right- 
eousness' unfolds  to  the  view,  he  sees  that  abiding  in 
Him  personally  is  the  only  way  to  stand,  at  all  times, 
complete  and  accepted  before  God,  as  it  is  the  only 
way  to  realize  how  the  new  and  righteous  nature  can 
be  strengthened  from  Jesus  our  Head.  To  the  peni- 
tent sinner  the  chief  thought  was  the  righteousness 
which  comes  through  Jesus  dying  for  sin;  to  the 
intelligent  and  advancing  believer,  Jesus^  the  Living 
One,  through  whom  the  righteousness  comes,  is 
everything,  because  having  Him  he  has  the  righteous- 
ness too. 


70  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Believer,  abide  in  Christ  as  your  righteousness. 
You  bear  about  with  you  a  nature  altogether  corrupt 
and  vile,  ever  seeking  to  rise  up  and  darken  your 
sense  of  acceptance,  and  of  access  to  unbroken 
fellowship  with  the  Father.  Nothing  can  enable  you 
to  dwell  and  walk  in  the  light  of  God,  without  even 
the  shadow  of  a  cloud  between,  but  the  habitual 
abiding  in  Christ  as  your  righteousness.  To  this  you 
are  called.  Seek  to  walk  worthy  of  that  calling. 
Yield  yourself  to  the  Holy  Spirit  to  reveal  to  you  the 
wonderful  grace  that  permits  you  to  draw  nigh  to 
God,  clothed  in  a  Divine  righteousness.  Take  time 
to  realize  that  the  King's  own  robe  has  indeed  been 
put  on,  and  that  in  it  you  need  not  fear  entering 
His  presence.  It  is  the  token  that  you  are  the  man 
whom  the  King  delights  to  honour.  Take  time  to 
remember  that  as  much  as  you  need  it  in  the  palace, 
no  less  do  you  require  it  when  He  sends  you  forth 
into  the  world,  where  you  are  the  King's  messenger 
and  representative.  Live  your  daily  life  in  the  full 
consciousness  of  being  righteous  in  God's  sight,  an 
object  of  delight  and  pleasure  in  Christ.  Connect 
every  view  you  have  of  Christ  in  His  other  graces 
with  this  first  one:  *0f  God  He  is  made  to  you  right- 
eousness.' This  will  keep  you  in  perfect  peace. 
Thus  shall  you  enter  into,  and  dwell  in,  the  rest  of 
God.  So  shall  your  inmost  being  be  transformed 
into  being  righteous  and  doing  righteousness.     In 


AS   YOUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS,  71 

your  heart  and  life  it  will  become  manifest  where  yon 
dwell;  abiding  in  Jesus  Christ,  the  Eighteous  One, 
you  will  share  His  position,  His  character,  and  His 
blessedness:  *Thou  lovest  righteousness,  and  hatest 
iniquity:  therefore  God,  thy  God,  hath  anointed  thee 
with  the  oil  of  gladness  above  thy  fellows. '  Joy  and 
gladness  above  measure  will  be  your  portion. 


72  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


NINTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHRIST 

AS  YOUR  SANCTIFICATION. 

*0f  God  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  was  made  unto  us 
wisdom  from  God,  both  righteousness  and  sanctification, 
and  redemption.'— 1  Cor.  i.  30  (R.  V.  marg.), 

'  "pAUL,  unto  the  Church  of  God  which  is  at  Corinth, 
-L  to  them  that  are  sanctified  in  Christ  Jesus, 
called  to  be  saints;'^ — thus  the  chapter  opens  in  which 
we  are  taught  that  Christ  is  our  sanctification.  In 
the  Old  Testament,  believers  were  called  the  right- 
eous; in  the  New  Testament  they  are  called  saints, 
the  holy  ones,  sanctified  in  Christ  Jesus.  Holy  is 
higher  than  righteous."^  Holy  in  God  has  reference 
to  His  inmost  being;  righteous,  to  His  dealings  with 
His  creatures.  In  man,  righteousness  is  but  a  step- 
ping-stone to  holiness.  It  is  in  this  he  can  approach 
most  near  to  the  perfection  of  God  (comp.  Matt,  v, 
48;  1  Pet,  i.  16),  In  the  Old  Testament  righteous- 
ness was  found,  while  holiness  was  only  typified;  in 

*  Holiness  may  be  called  spiritual  perfection,  as  right- 
eousness is  legal  completeness. ' — God's  Way  of  Holiness, 
by  H.  Bonar,  D.  D. 


AS   YOUR  SANCTIFICATION.  73 

Jesus  Christ,  the  Holy  One,  and  in  His  people,  His 
saints  or  holy  ones,  it  is  first  realized. 

As  in  Scripture,  and  in  our  text,  so  in  personal 
experience  righteousness  precedes  holiness.  When 
first  the  believer  finds  Christ  as  his  righteousness,  he 
has  such  joy  in  the  new-made  discovery  that  the 
study  of  holiness  hardly  has  a  place.  But  as  he 
grows,  the  desire  for  holiness  makes  itself  felt,  and  he 
seeks  to  know  what  provisions  his  God  has  made  for 
supplying  that  need.  A  superficial  acquaintance  with 
God's  plan  leads  to  the  view  that  while  justification 
is  God's  work,  by  faith  in  Christ,  sanctification  is 
our  work,  to  be  performed  under  the  influence  of  the 
gratitude  we  feel  for  the  deliverance  we  have  experi- 
enced, and  by  the  aid  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  But  the 
earnest  Christian  soon  finds  how  little  gratitude  can 
supply  the  power.  When  he  thinks  that  more  prayer 
will  bring  it,  he  finds  that,  indispensable  as  prayer 
is,  it  is  not  enough.  Often  the  believer  struggles 
hopelessly  for  years,  until  he  listens  to  the  teaching 
of  the  Spirit,  as  He  glorifies  Christ  again,  and  reveals 
Christ,  our  sanctification,  to  be  appropriated  by  faith 
alone. 

Christ  is  made  of  God  unto  us  sanctification. 
Holiness  is  the  very  nature  of  God,  and  that  alone  is 
holy  which  God  takes  possession  of  and  fills  loith  Him- 
self. God's  answer  to  the  question.  How  sinful  man 
could  become  holy?   is,   *  Christ,   the  Holy  One  of 


74  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

God.'  In  Hin],  whom  the  Father  sanctified  and  sent 
into  the  world,  God's  holiness  was  revealed  incarnate, 
and  brought  within  reach  of  man.  'I  sanctify  myself 
for  them,  that  they  also  may  be  sanctified  in  truth.' 
There  is  no  other  way  of  our  becoming  holy,  but  by 
becoming  partakers  of  the  holiness  of  Christ.  And 
there  is  no  other  way  of  this  taking  place  than  by  our 
personal  spiritual  union  with  Him,  so  that  through 
His  Holy  Spirit  His  holy  life  flows  unto  us.  Of  God 
are  ye  in  Christ,  who  is  made  unto  us  sanctification. 
Abiding  by  faith  in  Christ  our  sanctification  is  the 
simple  secret  of  a  holy  life.  The  measure  of  sancti- 
fication will  depend  on  the  measure  of  abiding  in 
Him;  as  the  soul  learns  wholly  to  abide  in  Christ, 
the  promise  is  increasingly  fulfilled:  'The  very  God 
of  peace  sanctify  you  wholly.' 

To  illustrate  this  relation  between  the  measure  of 
the  abiding  and  the  measure  of  sanctification  experi- 
enced, let  us  think  of  the  grafting  a  tree,  that  in- 
structive symbol  of  our  union  to  Jesus.  The  illustra- 
tion is  suggested  by  the  Saviour's  words,  *Make  the 
tree  good,  and  his  fruit  good.'  I  can  graft  a  tree  so 
that  only  a  single  branch  bears  good  fruit,  while 
many  of  the  natural  branches  remain,  and  bear  their 
old  fruit,  a  type  of  believers  in  whom  a  small  part  of 
the  life  is  sanctified,  but  in  whom,  from  ignorance  or 
other  reasons,  the  carnal  life  still  in  many  respects 
has  full  dominion.     I  can  graft  a  tree  so  that  every 


AS   YOUR  SANCTIFICATION.  75 

branch  is  cut  off,  and  the  "whole  tree  becomes  renewed 
to  bear  good  fruit;  and  yet,  unless  I  watch  over  the 
tendency  of  the  stems  to  give  sprouts,  they  may  again 
rise  and  grow  strong,  and,  robbing  the  new  graft  of 
the  strength  it  needs,  make  it  weak.  Such  are  Chris- 
tians who,  when  apparently  powerfully  converted, 
forsake  all  to  follow  Christ,  and  yet  after  a  time, 
through  unwatchfulness,  allow  old  habits  to  regain 
their  power,  and  whose  Christian  life  and  fruit  are 
but  feeble.  But  if  I  want  a  tree  wholly  made  good, 
I  take  it  when  young,  and,  cutting  the  stem  clean  off 
on  the  ground, 'I  graft  it  just  where  it  emerges  from 
the  soil.  I  watch  over  every  bud  which  the  old 
nature  could  possibly  put  forth,  until  the  flow  of  sap 
from  the  old  roots  into  the  new  stem  is  so  complete, 
that  the  old  life  has,  as  it  were,  been  entirely  con- 
quered and  covered  of  the  new.  Here  I  have  a  tree 
entirely  renewed, — emblem  of  the  Christian  who  has 
learnt  in  entire  consecration  to  surrender  everything 
for  Christ,  and  in  a  whole-hearted  faith  wholly  to 
abide  in  Him. 

If,  in  this  last  case,  the  old  tree  were  a  reasonable 
being,  that  could  co-operate  with  the  gardener,  what 
would  his  language  be  to  it?  Would  it  not  be  this: 
*Yield  now  thyself  entirely  to  this  new  nature  with 
which  I  have  invested  thee;  repress  every  tendency 
of  the  old  nature  to  give  buds  or  sprouts;  let  all  thy 
sap  and  all  thy  life-powers  rise  up  into  this  graft 


76  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

from  yonder  beautiful  tree,  which  I  have  put  on  thee; 
so  shalt  thou  bring  forth  sweet  and  much  fruit.' 
And  the  language  of  the  tree  to  the  gardener  would 
be:  'When  thou  graftest  me,  0  spare  not  a  single 
branch ;  let  everything  of  the  old  self,  even  the  smallest 
bud,  be  destroyed,  that  I  may  no  longer  live  in  my 
own,  but  in  that  other  life  that  was  cut  off  and  brought 
and  put  upon  me,  that  I  might  be  wholly  new  and 
good.'  And,  once  again,  could  you  afterwards  seek 
the  renewed  tree,  as  it  was  bearing  abundant  fruit, 
what  it  could  say  of  itself,  its  answer  would  be  this: 
'In  me,  that  is,  in  my  roots,  there  dwelleth  no  good 
thing.  I  am  ever  inclined  to  evil;  the  sap  I  collect 
from  the  soil  is  in  its  nature  corrupt,  and  ready  to 
show  itself  in  bearing  evil  fruit.  But  just  where  the 
sap  rises  into  the  sunshine  to  ripen  into  fruit,  the 
wise  gardener  hath  clothed  me  with  a  new  life, 
through  which  my  sap  is  purified,  and  all  my  powers 
are  renewed  to  the  bringing  forth  of  good  fruit.  I 
have  only  to  abide  in  that  which  I  have  received. 
He  cares  for  the  immediate  repression  and  removal  of 
every  bud  which  the  old  nature  still  would  put  forth.' 
Christian,  fear  not  to  claim  God's  promises  to  make 
thee  holy.  Listen  not  to  the  suggestion  that  the  cor- 
ruption of  thy  old  nature  would  render  holiness  an 
impossibility.  In  thy  flesh  dwelleth  no  good  thing, 
and  that  flesh,  though  crucified  with  Christ,  is  not 
yet  dead,  but  will  continually  seek  to  rise  and  lead 


AS   YOUR  SANCTIFICATION.  77 

thee  to  evil.  But  the  Father  is  the  Husbandman. 
He  hath  grafted  the  life  of  Christ  on  thy  life.  That 
holy  life  is  mightier  than  thy  evil  life ;  under  the 
watchful  care  of  the  Husbandman,  that  new  life  can 
keep  down  the  workings  of  the  evil  life  within  thee. 
The  evil  nature  is  there,  with  its  unchanged  tendency 
to  rise  up  and  show  itself.  But  the  new  nature  is 
there  too, — the  living  Christ,  thy  sanctification,  is 
there, — and  through  Him  all  thy  powers  can  be 
sanctified  as  they  rise  into  life,  and  be  made  to  bear 
fruit  to  the  glory  of  the  Father. 

And  now,  if  you  would  live  a  holy  life,  abide  in 
Christ  your  sanctification.  Look  upon  Him  as  the  Holy 
One  of  God,  made  man  that  He  might  communicate 
to  us  the  holiness  of  God.  Listen  when  Scripture 
teaches  that  there  is  within  you  a  new  nature,  a  new 
man,  created  in  Christ  Jesus  in  righteousness  and 
true  holiness.  Remember  that  this  holy  nature  which 
is  in  you  is  singularly  fitted  for  living  a  holy  life, 
and  performing  all  holy  duties,  as  much  so  as  the  old 
nature  is  for  doing  evil.  Understand  that  this  holy 
nature  within  you  hath  its  root  and  life  in  Christ  in 
heaven,  and  can  only  grow  and  become  strong  as  the 
intercourse  between  it  and  its  source  is  uninter- 
rupted. And  above  all,  believe  most  confidently  that 
Jesus  Christ  Himself  delights  in  maintaining  that 
new  nature  within  you,  and  imparting  to  it  His  own 
strength  and  wisdom  for  its  work.     Let  that  faith 


78  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

lead  you  daily  to  the  surrender  of  all  self-confidence, 
and  the  confession  of  the  utter  corruption  of  all  there 
is  in  you  by  nature.  Let  it  fill  you  with  a  quiet  and 
assured  confidence  that  you  are  indeed  able  to  do  what 
the  Father  expects  of  you  as  His  child,  under  the 
covenant  of  His  grace,  because  you  have  Christ 
strengthening  you.  Let  it  teach  you  to  lay  yourself 
and  your  services  on  the  altar  as  spiritual  sacrifices, 
holy  and  acceptable  in  His  sight,  a  sweet-smelling 
savour.  Look  not  upon  a  life  of  holiness  as  a  strain 
and  an  effort,  but  as  the  natural  outgrowth  of  the 
life  of  Christ  within  you.  And  let  ever  again  a 
quiet,  hopeful,  gladsome  faith  hold  itself  assured  that 
all  you  need  for  a  holy  life  will  most  assuredly  be 
given  you  out  of  the  holiness  of  Jesus.  Thus  will 
you  understand  and  prove  what  it  is  to  abide  in 
Christ  our  sanctification. 

NOTE. 

The  thought  that  in  the  personal  holiness  of  our 
Lord  a  new  holy  nature  was  formed  to  be  communi- 
cated to  us,  and  that  we  make  use  of  it  by  faith,  is 
the  central  idea  of  Marshall's  invaluable  work.  The 
Gospel  Mystery  of  Sanctification : — 

'One  great  mystery  is,  that  the  holy  frame  and 
disposition  whereby  our  souls  are  furnished  and  en- 
abled for  immediate  practice  of  the  law,  must  be 
obtained  by  receiving  it  out  of  Christ's  fulness,  as  a 
thing  already  prepared  and  irotight  to  an  existence  for 


AS   YOUR  SANCTIFICATION,  79 

US  in  Christy  and  treasicred  up  ifi  Him;  and  that,  as 
we  are  Justified  by  a  righteousness  wrought  out  in 
Christ,  and  imputed  to  us,  so  we  are  sanctified  by 
such  an  holy  frame  and  qualification  as  are  first 
wrought  out  and  completed  in  Christ  for  us^  and  then 
imparted  to  us.  As  our  natural  corruption  was  pro- 
duced originally  in  the  first  Adam,  and  propagated 
from  him  to  us,  so  our  neio  stature  and  holiness  is 
first  produced  in  Christy  and  derived  from  Him  to  us^ 
or^  as  it  were^  propagated.  So  that  we  are  not  at  all 
to  work  together  with  Christ  in  making  or  producing 
that  holy  frame  in  us,  but  only  to  take  it  to  our- 
selves, and  use  it  in  our  holy  practice,  as  made  ready 
to  our  hands.  Thus  we  have  fellowship  with  Christ, 
in  receiving  that  holy  frame  of  spirit  that  was  origi- 
nally in  Him ;  for  fellowship  is  where  several  persons 
have  the  same  things  in  common.  This  mystery  is 
so  great,  that  notwithstanding  all  the  light  of  the 
Gospel,  we  commonly  think  that  we  must  get  an 
holy  frame  by  producing  it  anew  in  ourselves,  and  by 
pursuing  it  and  working  it  out  of  our  own  heart'  {see 
chap,  iii,),^ 

*  I  have  felt  so  strongly  that  the  teaching  of  Marshall  is 
just  what  the  Church  needs  to  bring  out  clearly  what  the 
Scripture  path  of  holiness  is,  that  I  have  prepared  an 
abridgment  (all  in  the  author's  own  words)  of  his  work. 
By  leaving  out  what  was  not  essential  to  his  argument, 
and  shortening  when  he  appeared  diffuse,  I  hoped  to  bring 
his  book  within  reach  of  many  who  might  never  read  the 
larger  work.  It  is  published  under  the  title,  The  Highivay 
of  Holiness.  I  cannot  too  earnestly  urge  every  student  of 
theology,  and  of  Scripture,  and  of  the  art  of  holy  living,  to 
make  himself  master  of  the  teaching  of  Marshall's  third, 
fourth,  and  twelfth  chapters. 


80  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHEIST 

AS  YOUR  REDEMPTION. 

'Of  God  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  was  made  unto  us 
wisdom  from  God,  both  righteousness  and  sanctification, 
and  REDEMPTION. '—1  Cor.  i.  30  (R.  V.  marg.). 

HEKE  we  have  the  top  of  the  ladder,  reaching  into 
heaven, — the  blessed  end  to  which  Christ  and 
life  in  Him  is  to  lead.  The  word  redemption,  though 
sometimes  applied  to  our  deliverance  from  the  guilt 
of  sin,  here  refers  to  our  complete  and  final  deliver- 
ance from  all  its  consequences,  when  the  Eedeemer's 
work  shall  become  fully  manifest,  even  to  the  re- 
demption of  the  body  itself  {comp,  Rom,  viii.  21-28; 
Epli.  i,  IJf.^  iv.  SO).  The  expression  points  us  to  the 
highest  glory  to  be  hoped  for  in  the  future,  and 
therefore  also  to  the  highest  blessing  to  be  enjoyed  in 
the  present  in  Christ.  We  have  seen  how,  as  a  proph- 
et, Christ  is  our  wisdom,  revealing  to  us  God  and 
His  love,  with  the  nature  and  conditions  of  the  salva- 
tion that  love  has  prepared.  As  a  priest,  He  is  our 
righteousness,  restoring  us  to  right  relations  to  God, 
and  securing  us  His  favour  and  friendship.  As  a 
king.  He  is  our  sanctification,  forming  and  guiding 


AS   YOUR  REDEMPTION,  81 

US  into  the  obedience  to  the  Father's  will.  As  these 
three  offices  work  out  God's  one  purpose,  the  grand 
consummation  will  be  reached,  the  complete  deliver- 
ance from  sin  and  all  its  effects  be  accomplished,  and 
ransomed  humanity  regain  all  that  it  had  ever 
lost. 

Christ  is  made  of  God  unto  us  Redemption.  The 
word  invites  us  to  look  upon  Jesus,  not  only  as  He 
lived  on  earth,  teaching  us  by  word  and  example, 
as  He  died,  to  reconcile  us  with  God,  as  He  lives 
again,  a  victorious  King,  rising  to  receive  His  crown, 
but  as,  sitting  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  He  takes 
again  the  glory  which  He  had  with  the  Father,  be- 
fore the  world  began,  and  holds  it  there  for  us.  It 
consists  in  this,  that  there  His  human  nature,  yea, 
His  human  body,  freed  from  all  the  consequences  of 
sin  to  which  He  once  had  been  exposed,  is  now  ad- 
mitted to  share  the  Divine  glory.  As  Son  of  man, 
He  dwells  on  the  throne  and  in  the  bosom  of  the 
Father:  the  deliverance  from  what  He  had  to  suffer 
from  sin  is  complete  and  eternal.  The  complete  re- 
demption is  found  embodied  in  His  own  person: 
what  He  as  man  is  and  has  in  heaven  is  the  complete 
redemption.     He  is  made  of  God  to  us  redemption. 

We  are  in  Him  as  such.  And  the  more  intelli- 
gently and  believingly  we  abide  in  Him  as  our  re- 
demption, the  more  shall  we  experience,  even  here, 
of  'the  powers  of  the  world  to  come.'  As  our  com- 
6 


82  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

munion  with  him  becomes  more  intimate  and  in- 
tense, and  we  let  the  Holy  Spirit  reveal  Him  to  us 
in  His  heavenly  glory,  the  more  we  realize  how  the 
life  in  us  is  the  life  of  One  who  sits  upon  the  throne 
of  heaven.  We  feel  the  power  of  an  endless  life 
working  in  us.  We  taste  the  eternal  life.  We  have 
the  foretaste  of  the  eternal  glory. 

The  blessings  flowing  from  abiding  in  Christ  as  our 
redemption,  are  great.  The  soul  is  delivered  from 
all  fear  of  death.  There  was  a  time  when  even  the 
Saviour  feared  death.  But  now  no  longer.  He  has 
triumphed  over  death;  even  His  body  has  entered 
into  the  glory.  The  believer  who  abides  in  Christ  as 
his  full  redemption,  realizes  even  now  his  spiritual 
victory  over  death.  It  becomes  to  him  the  servant 
that  removes  the  last  rags  of  the  old  carnal  vesture, 
ere  he  be  clothed  upon  with  the  new  body  of  glory. 
It  carries  the  body  to  the  grave,  to  lie  there  as  the 
seed  whence  the  new  body  will  arise  the  worthy  com- 
panion of  the  glorified  spirit.  The  resurrection  of 
the  body  is  no  longer  a  barren  doctrine,  but  a  living 
expectation,  and  even  an  incipient  experience,  be- 
cause the  Spirit  of  Him  that  raised  Jesus  from  the 
dead  dwells  in  the  body  as  the  pledge  that  even  our 
mortal  bodies  shall  be  quickened  {Eom.  viii.  11-28). 
This  faith  exercises  its  sanctifying  influence  in  the 
willing  surrender  of  the  sinful  members  of  the  body 
to  be  mortified    and    completely  subjected    to   the 


AS   YOUR  REDEMPTION.  83 

dominion  of  the  Spirit,  as  preparation  for  the  time 
when  the  frail  body  shall  be  changed  and  fashioned 
like  to  His  glorious  body. 

This  full  redemption  of  Christ  as  extending  to  the 
body,  has  a  depth  of  meaning  not  easily  expressed. 
It  was  of  man  as  a  whole,  soul  and  body,  that  it  is  said 
that  he  was  made  in  the  image  and  likeness  of  God. 
In  the  angels,  God  had  created  spirits  without 
material  bodies;  in  the  creation  of  the  world,  there 
was  matter  without  spirit.  Man  was  to  be  the  high- 
est specimen  of  Divine  art:  the  combination  in  one 
being,  of  matter  and  spirit  in  perfect  harmony,  as 
type  of  the  most  perfect  union  between  God  and  His 
own  creation.  Sin  entered  in,  and  appeared  to  thwart 
the  Divine  plan :  the  material  obtained  a  fearful 
supremacy  over  the  spiritual.  The  Word  was  made 
fleshy  the  Divine  fulness  received  an  emhodiment  in 
the  humanity  of  Christ,  that  the  redemption  might 
be  a  complete  and  perfect  one;  that  the  whole  crea- 
tion, which  now  groaneth  and  travaileth  in  pain  to- 
gether, might  be  delivered  from  the  bondage  of 
corruption  into  the  liberty  of  the  glory  of  the  chil- 
dren of  God.  God's  purpose  will  not  be  accomplished 
and  Christ's  glory  will  not  be  manifested  fully,  until 
the  body,  with  that  whole  of  nature  of  which  it  is 
part  and  head,  has  been  transfigured  by  the  power  of 
the  spiritual  life,  and  made  the  transparent  vesture 
for  showing  forth  the  glory  of  the  Infinite  Spirit. 


84  ABIDJP  IN  CHRIST: 

Then  only  shall  we  understand :  *  Christ  Jesus  is  made 
unto  us  (complete)  redemption.' 

Meantime  we  are  taught  to  believe :  Of  God  are  ye 
in  Christ,  as  your  redemption.  This  is  not  meant  as 
a  revelation,  to  be  left  to  the  future;  for  the  full  de- 
velopment of  the  Christian  life,  our  present  abiding 
in  Christ  must  seek  to  enter  into  and  appropriate  it. 
We  do  this  as  we  learn  to  triumph  over  death.  We 
do  it  as  we  learn  to  look  upon  Christ  as  the  Lord  of 
our  body,  claiming  its  entire  consecration,  securing 
even  here,  if  faith  will  claim  it  (Mark  xvL  17,  18), 
victory  over  the  terrible  dominion  sin  hath  had  in 
the  body.  We  do  this  as  we  learn  to  look  on  all 
nature  as  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Christ,  destined, 
even  though  it  be  tbrough  a  baptism  of  fire,  to  par- 
take in  His  redemption.  We  do  it  as  we  allow  the 
powers  of  the  coming  world  to  possess  us,  and  to  lift 
us  up  into  a  life  in  the  heavenly  places,  to  enlarge 
our  hearts  and  our  views,  to  anticipate,  even  here, 
the  things  which  have  never  entered  into  the  heart  of 
man  to  conceive. 

Believer,  abide  in  Christ  as  thy  redemption.  Let 
this  be  the  crown  of  thy  Christian  life.  Seek  it  not 
first  or  only,  apart  from  the  knowledge  of  Christ  in 
His  other  relations.  But  seek  it  truly  as  that  to 
which  they  are  meant  to  lead  thee  up.  Abide  in 
Christ  as  thy  redemption.  Nothing  will  fit  thee  for 
this  but  faithfulness  in  the  previous   steps  of  the 


AS   YOUR  REDEMPTION.  85 

Christian  life.  Abide  in  Him  as  thy  wisdom,  the 
perfect  revelation  of  all  that  God  is  and  has  for  thee. 
Follow,  in  the  daily  ordering  of  the  inner  and  the 
outer  life,  with  meek  docility  His  teaching,  and  thou 
shalt  be  counted  worthy  to  have  secrets  revealed  to 
thee  which  to  most  disciples  are  a  sealed  book.  The 
wisdom  will  lead  thee  into  the  mysteries  of  complete 
redemption.  Abide  in  Him  as  thy  righteousness,  and 
dwell  clothed  upon  with  Him  in  that  inner  sanctuary 
of  the  Father's  favour  and  presence  to  which  His 
righteousness  gives  thee  access.  As  thou  rejoicest  in 
thy  reconciliation,  thou  shalt  understand  how  it  in- 
cludes all  things,  and  how  they  too  wait  the  full  re- 
demption; *for  it  pleased  the  Father  by  Him  to 
reconcile  all  things  unto  Himself;  by  Him,  I  say, 
whether  they  be  things  on  earth  or  things  in  heaven. ' 
And  abide  in  Him  as  thy  sanctification ;  the  experi- 
ence of  His  power  to  make  thee  holy,  spirit  and  soul 
and  body,  will  quicken  thy  faith  in  a  holiness  that 
shall  not  cease  its  work  until  the  bells  of  the  horses 
and  every  pot  in  Jerusalem  shall  be  Holiness  to  the 
Lord.  Abide  in  Him  as  thy  redemption,  and  live, 
even  here,  as  the  heir  of  the  future  glory.  And  as 
thou  seekest  to  experience  in  thyself  to  the  full,  the 
power  of  His  saving  grace,  thy  heart  shall  be  enlarged 
to  realize  the  position  man  has  been  destined  to  oc- 
cupy in  the  universe,  as  having  all  things  made  sub- 
ject to  him,  and  thou  shalt  for  thy  part  be  fitted 
to  live  worthy  of  that  high  and  heavenly  calling. 


86  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


ELEVENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE    IN    CHKIST 

THE  CRUCIFIED  ONE. 

'I  am  crucified  with  Christ :  nevertheless  I  live ;  yet  not 
I,  but  Christ  liveth  in  me. ' — Gal.  ii.  20. 

'  We  have  been  planted  together  in  the  likeness  of  His 
death. '—Rom.  vi.  5. 

'  T  AM  crucified  with  Christ:'  Thus  the  apostle  ex- 
J-  presses  his  assurance  of  his  fellowship  with  Christ 
in  His  sufferings  and  death,  and  his  full  participa- 
tion in  all  the  power  and  the  blessing  of  that  death. 
And  so  really  did  he  mean  what,  he  said,  and  know 
that  he  was  now  indeed  dead,  that  he  adds:  'It  is  no 
longer  1  that  live^  but  Christ  that  liveth  in  me. '  How 
blessed  must  be  the  experience  of  such  a  union  with 
the  Lord  Jesus!  To  be  able  to  look  upon  His  death 
as  mine,  just  as  really  as  it  was  His, — upon  His  per- 
fect obedience  to  God,  His  victory  over  sin,  and  com- 
plete deliverance  from  its  power,  as  mine;  and  to 
realize  that  the  power  of  that  death  does  by  faith 
work  daily  with  a  Divine  energy  in  mortifying  the 
flesh,  and  renewing  the  whole  life  into  the  perfect 
conformity  to  the  resurrection  life  of  Jesus!  Abid- 
ing in  Jesus,  the  Crucified  One,  is  the  secret  of  the 


THE  CRUCIFIED  ONE.  87 

growth  of  that  new  life  which  is  ever  begotten  of  the 
death  of  nature. 

Let  us  try  to  understand  this.  The  suggestive  ex- 
pression, 'Planted  into  the  likeness  of  His  death,' 
will  teach  us  what  the  abiding  in  the  Crucilied  One 
means.  When  a  graft  is  united  with  the  stock  on 
which  it  is  to  grow,  we  know  that  it  must  be  kept 
fixed,  it  must  abide  in  the  place  where  the  stock  has 
been  cut,  been  wounded,  to  make  an  opening  to  re- 
ceive the  graft.  No  graft  without  wounding, — the 
laying  bare  and  opening  up  of  the  inner  life  of  the 
tree  to  receive  the  stranger  branch.  It  is  only 
through  such  wounding  that  access  can  be  obtained 
to  the  fellowship  of  the  sap  and  the  growth  and  the 
life  of  the  stronger  stem.  Even  so  with  Jesus  and 
the  sinner.  Only  when  we  are  planted  into  the  like- 
ness of  His  death  shall  we  also  be  in  the  likeness  of 
His  resurrection,  partakers  of  the  life  and  the  power 
there  are  in  Him.  In  the  death  of  the  cross  Christ 
was  wounded,  and  in  His  opened  wounds  a  place  pre- 
pared where  we  might  be  grafted  in.  And  just  as 
one  might  say  to  a  graft,  and  does  practically  say  as 
it  is  fixed  in  its  place,  'Abide  here  in  the  wound  of 
the  stem,  that  is  now  to  bear  thee;'  so  to  the  believ- 
ing soul  the  message  comes,  'Abide  in  the  wounds  of 
Jesus;  there  is  the  place  of  union,  and  life,  and 
growth.  There  thou  shalt  see  how  His  heart  was 
opened  to  receive  thee ;    how  His  flesh  was  rent  that 


88  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

the  way  might  be  opened  for  thy  being  made  one 
with  Him,  and  having  access  to  all  the  blessings  flow- 
ing from  His  Divine  nature.' 

You  have  also  noticed  how  the  graft  has  to  be  torn 
away  from  the  tree  where  it  by  nature  grew,  and  to 
be  cut  into  conformity  to  the  place  prepared  for  it  in 
the  wounded  stem.  Even  so  the  believer  has  to  be 
made  conformable  to  Christ's  death,— to  be  crucified 
and  to  die  with  Him.  The  wounded  stem  and  the 
wounded  graft  are  cut  to  fit  into  each  other,  into  each 
other's  likeness.  There  is  a  fellowship  between 
Christ's  sufferings  and  thy  sufferings.  His  experi- 
ences must  become  thine.  The  disposition  He  mani- 
fested in  choosing  and  bearing  the  cross  must  be 
thine.  Like  Him,  thou  wilt  have  to  give  full  assent 
to  the  righteous  judgment  and  curse  of  a  holy  God 
against  sin.  Like  Him,  thou  hast  to  consent  to  yield 
thy  life,  as  laden  with  sin  and  curse,  to  death,  and 
through  it  to  pass  to  the  new  life.  Like  Him,  thou 
shalt  experience  that  it  is  only  through  the  self-sacri- 
fice of  Gethsemane  and  Calvary  that  the  path  is  to  be 
found  to  the  joy  and  the  fruit-bearing  of  the  resur- 
rection life.  The  more  clear  the  resemblance  between 
the  wounded  stem  and  the  wounded  graft,  the  more 
exactly  their  wounds  fit  into  each  other,  the  surer  and 
the  easier,  and  the  more  complete  will  be  the  union 
and  the  growth. 

It  is  in  Jesus,  the  Crucified  One,  I  must  abide.     I 


THE  CRUCIFIED  ONE.  89 

must  learn  to  look  upon  the  Cross  as  not  only  an 
atonement  to  God,  but  also  a  victory  over  the  devil, 
— not  only  a  deliverance  from  the  guilt,  but  also  from 
the  power  of  sin.  I  must  gaze  on  Him  on  the  Cross 
as  wholly  mine,  offering  Himself  to  receive  me  into 
the  closest  union  and  fellowship,  and  to  make  me 
partaker  of  the  full  power  of  His  death  to  sin,  and 
the  new  life  of  victory  to  which  it  is  but  the  gateway. 
I  must  yield  myself  to  Him  in  an  undivided  surren- 
der, with  much  prayer  and  strong  desire,  imploring 
to  be  admitted  into  the  ever  closer  fellowship  and 
conformity  of  His  death,  of  the  Spirit  in  which  He 
died  that  death. 

Let  me  try  and  understand  why  the  Cross  is  thus 
the  place  of  union.  O71  the  Cross  the  Son  of  God 
enters  into  the  fullest  union  with  man — enters  into 
the  fullest  experience  of  what  it  says  to  have  become 
a  son  of  man,  a  member  of  a  race  under  the  curse. 
It  is  in  death  that  the  Prince  of  life  conquers  the 
power  of  death;  it  is  in  death  alone  that  He  can 
make  me  partaker  of  that  victory.  The  life  He  im- 
parts is  a  life  from  the  dead ;  each  new  experience  of 
the  power  of  that  life  depends  upon  the  fellowship  of 
the  death.  The  death  and  the  life  are  inseparable. 
All  the  grace  which  Jesus  the  Saving  One  gives  is 
given  only  in  the  pafch  of  fellowship  with  Jesus  the 
Crucified  One.  Christ  came  and  took  my  place;  I 
must  put  myself  in  His  place,  and  abide  there.     And 


90  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

there  is  but  one  place  which  is  both  His  and  mine, — 
that  place  is  the  Cross.  His  in  virtue  of  His  free 
choice;  mine  by  reason  of  the  curse  of  sin.  He 
came  there  to  seek  me;  there  alone  I  can  find  Him. 
When  He  found  me  there,  it  was  the  place  of  cursing; 
this  He  experienced,  for  *  cursed  is  every  one  that 
hangeth  on  a  tree.'  He  made  it  a  place  of  bless- 
ing; this  I  experience,  for  Christ  hath  delivered  us 
from  the  curse,  being  made  a  curse  for  us.  When 
Christ  comes  in  my  place.  He  remains  what  He  was, 
the  beloved  of  the  Father;  but  in  the  fellowship  with 
me  He  shares  my  curse  and  dies  my  death.  When 
I  stand  in  His  place,  which  is  still  always  mine,  I  am 
still  what  I  was  by  nature,  the  accursed  one,  who 
deserves  to  die;  but  as  united  to  Him,  I  share  His 
blessing,  and  receive  His  life.  When  He  came  to  be 
one  with  me  He  could  not  avoid  the  Cross,  for  the 
curse  always  points  to  the  Cross  as  its  end  and  fruit. 
And  when  I  seek  to  be  one  with  Him,  I  cannot  avoid 
the  Cross  either^  for  nowhere  but  on  the  Cross  are  life 
and  deliverance  to  be  found.  As  inevitably  as  my 
curse  pointed  Him  to  the  Cross  as  the  only  place 
where  He  could  be  fully  united  to  me.  His  blessing 
points  me  to  the  Cross  too  as  the  only  place  where  I 
can  be  united  to  Him.  He  took  my  cross  for  His 
own;  I  must  take  His  Cross  as  my  own;  I  must  be 
crucified  with  Him.  It  is  as  I  abide  daily,  deeply  in 
Jesus  the  Crucified  One,  that  I  shall  taste  the  sweet- 


THE  CRUCIFIED  ONE.  91 

ness  of  His  love,  the  power  of  His  life,  the  complete- 
ness of  His  salvation. 

Beloved  believer!  it  is  a  deep  mystery,  this  of  the 
Cross  of  Christ.  I  fear  there  are  many  Christians 
who  are  content  to  look  upon  the  Cross,  with  Christ 
on  it  dying  for  their  sins,  who  have  little  heart  for 
fellowship  with  the  Crucified  One.  They  hardly 
know  that  He  invites  them  to  it.  Or  they  are  con- 
tent to  consider  the  ordinary  afflictions  of  life,  which 
the  children  of  the  world  often  have  as  much  as  they, 
as  their  share  of  Christ's  Cross.  They  have  no  con- 
ception of  what  it  is  to  be  crucified  with  Christ,  that 
bearing  the  cross  means  likeness  to  Christ  in  the 
principles  which  animated  Him  in  His  path  of  obedi- 
ence. The  entire  surrender  of  all  self-will,  the 
complete  denial  to  the  flesh  of  its  every  desire  and 
pleasure,  the  perfect  separation  from  the  world  in  all 
its  ways  of  thinking  and  acting,  the  losing  and  hating 
of  one's  life,  the  giving  up  of  self  and  its  interests 
for  the  sake  of  others, — this  is  the  disposition  which 
marks  him  who  has  taken  up  Christ's  Cross,  who 
seeks  to  say,  *I  am  crucified  with  Christ;  I  abide  in 
Christ,  the  Crucified  One. ' 

Wouldest  thou  in  very  deed  please  thy  Lord,  and 
live  in  as  close  fellowship  with  Him  as  His  grace 
could  maintain  thee  in,  0  pray  that  His  Spirit  lead 
thee  into  this  blessed  truth :  this  secret  of  the  Lord 
for  them  that  fear  Him.     We  know  how  Peter  knew 


92  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

and  confessed  Christ  as  the  Son  of  the  living  God 
while  the  Cross  was  still  an  offence  (Matt,  xvi,  16, 
17,  21,  28).  The  faith  that  believes  in  the  blood  that 
pardons,  and  the  life  that  renews,  can  only  reach  its 
perfect  growth  as  it  abides  beneath  the  Cross,  and  in 
living  fellowship  with  Him  seeks  for  perfect  con- 
formity with  Jesus  the  Crucified. 

0  Jesus,  our  crucified  Kedeemer,  teach  ns  not  only 
to  believe  on  Thee,  but  to  abide  in  Thee,  to  take  Thy 
Cross  not  only  as  the  ground  of  our  pardon,  but  also 
as  the  law  of  our  life.  0  teach  us  to  love  it  not  only 
because  on  it  Thou  didst  bear  our  curse,  but  because 
on  it  we  enter  into  the  closest  fellowship  with  Thyself, 
and  are  crucified  with  Thee.  And  teach  us,  that  as 
we  yield  ourselves  wholly  to  be  possessed  of  the  Spirit 
in  which  Thou  didst  bear  the  Cross,  we  shall  be  made 
partakers  of  the  power  and  the  blessing  to  which  the 
Cross  alone  gives  access. 


GOD  HIMSELF  WILL  STABLISH  YOU  IN  HIM.   93 


TWELFTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN  CHKIST 

GOD  HIMSELF  WILL  STABLISH  YOU  IN  HIM. 

'He  which  stablisheth  us  with  you  in  Christ,  is  God. ' — 
2  Cor.  i.  21. 

THESE  words  of  Paul  teach  us  a  much  needed  and 
most  blessed  truth, — that  just  as  our  first  being 
united  with  Christ  was  the  work  of  Divine  omnipo- 
tence, so  we  may  look  to  the  Father,  too,  for  being 
kept  and  being  fixed  more  firmly  in  Him.  *The 
Lord  will  perfect  that  which  concerneth  me;' — this 
expression  of  confidence  should  ever  accompany  the 
prayer,  *Forsake  not  the  work  of  Thine  own  hands.' 
In  all  his  belongings  and  prayers  to  attain  to  a  deeper 
and  more  perfect  abiding  in  Christ,  the  believer  must 
hold  fast  his  confidence:  'He  which  hath  begun  a 
good  work  in  you,  will  perform  it  until  the  day  of 
Jesus  Christ.'  There  is  nothing  that  will  so  help  to 
root  and  ground  him  in  Christ  as  this  faith:  *He 
which  stablisheth  us  in  Christ  is  God.' 

How  many  there  are  who  can  witness  that  this  faith 
is  just  what  they  need!  They  continually  mourn 
over  the  variableness  of  their  spiritual  life.  Some- 
times there  are  hours  and  days  of  deep  earnestness, 


94  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

and  even  of  blessed  experience  of  the  grace  of  God. 
But  how  little  is  needed  to  mar  their  peace,  to  bring 
a  cloud  over  the  soul!  And  then,  how  their  faith  is 
shaken !  All  efforts  to  regain  their  standing  appear 
utterly  fruitless;  and  neither  solemn  vows,  nor  watch- 
ing and  prayer,  avail  to  restore  to  them  the  peace 
they  for  a  while  had  tasted.  Could  they  but  under- 
stand how  just  their  own  efforts  are  the  cause  of  their 
failure,  because  it  is  God  alone  who  can  establish  us 
in  Christ  Jesus.  They  would  see  that  just  as  in  jus- 
tification they  had  to  cease  from  their  own  working, 
and  to  accept  in  faith  the  promise  that  God  would 
give  them  life  in  Christ,  so  now,  in  the  matter  of 
their  sanctification,  their  first  need  is  to  cease  from 
striving  tJiemselves  to  estaUish  the  connection  ivith 
Christ  7nore  firmly^  and  to  allow  God  to  do  it.  'God 
is  faithful,  by  whom  ye  were  called  unto  the  fellow- 
ship of  His  Son  Jesus  Christ.'  What  they  need  is 
the  simple  faith  that  the  stablishing  in  Christ,  day 
by  day,  is  God's  work, — a  work  that  He  delights  to 
do,  in  spite  of  all  our  weakness  and  unfaithfulness,  if 
we  will  but  trust  Him  for  it. 

To  the  blessedness  of  such  a  faith,  and  the  experi- 
ence it  brings,  many  can  testify.  What  peace  and 
rest,  to  know  that  there  is  a  Husbandman  who  cares 
for  the  branch,  to  see  that  it  grows  stronger,  and  that 
its  union  with  the  Vine  becomes  more  perfect,  who 
watches  over  every  hindrance  and  danger,  who  sup- 


GOD  HIMSELF  WILL  STABLISH  YOU  IN  HIM.   95 

plies  every  needed  aid !  What  peace  and  rest,  fully 
and  finally  to  give  up  our  abiding  into  the  care  of 
God,  and  never  have  a  wish  or  thought,  never  to  offer 
a  prayer  or  engage  in  an  exercise  connected  with  it, 
without  first  having  the  glad  remembrance  that  what 
we  do  is  only  the  manifestation  of  what  God  is  doing 
in  us!  The  establishing  in  Christ  is  His  work:  He 
accomplishes  it  by  stirring  us  to  watch,  and  wait,  and 
work.  But  this  He  can  do  with  power  only  as  we 
cease  interrupting  Him  by  our  self-working, — as  we 
accept  in  faith  the  dependent  posture  which  honours 
Him  and  opens  the  heart  to  let  Him  work.  How 
such  a  faith  frees  the  soul  from  care  and  responsi- 
bility! In  the  midst  of  the  rush  and  bustle  of  the 
world's  stirring  life,  amid  the  subtle  and  ceaseless 
temptations  of  sin,  amid  all  the  daily  cares  and  trials 
that  so  easily  distract  and  lead  to  failure,  how  blessed 
it  would  be  to  be  an  established  Christian — always 
abiding  in  Christ!  How  blessed  even  to  have  the 
faith  that  one  can  surely  become  it, — that  the  attain- 
ment is  within  our  reach! 

Dear  believer,  the  blessing  is  indeed  within  your 
reach.  He  that  stablisheth  you  with  us  in  Christ  is 
God.  What  I  want  you  to  take  in  is  this, — that  be- 
lieving this  promise  will  not  only  give  you  comfort, 
but  will  be  the  means  of  your  obtaining  your  desire. 
You  know  how  Scripture  teaches  us  that  in  all  God's 
leadings  of  His  people  faith  has  everywhere  been  the 


96  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

one  condition  of  the  manifestation  of  His  power. 
Faith  is  the  ceasing  from  all  nature's  efforts,  and  all 
other  dependence;  faith  is  confessed  helplessness  cast- 
ing itself  upon  God's  promise,  and  claiming  its  ful- 
filment; faith  is  the  putting  ourselves  quietly  into 
God's  hands  for  Him  to  do  His  work.  What  you  and 
I  need  now  is  to  take  time,  until  this  truth  stands 
out  before  us  in  all  its  spiritual  brightness:  It  is 
God  Almighty,  God  the  Faithful  and  Gracious  One, 
who  has  undertaken  to  stablish  me  in  Christ  Jesus. 

Listen  to  what  the  Word  teaches  you: — 'The  Lord 
shall  establish  thee  an  holy  people  unto  Himself;'  'O 
Lord  God,  stablish  their  heart  unto  Thee;'  'Thy  God 
loved  Israel,  to  establish  them  for  ever;'  'Thou  wilt 
establish  the  heart  of  the  humble;'  'Now  to  Him  that 
is  of  power  to  establish  yoti^  be  glory  for  ever;'  'To 
the  end  He  may  establish  your  hearts  tmblamable  in 
holiness;^  'The  Lord  is  faithful,  yvho  shall  stablish 
you  and  keep  you  from  all  evil;'  'The  God  of  all 
grace,  who  hath  called  us  in  Christ  Jesus,  make  you 
perfect,  stablish^  strengthen,  settle  you.'  Can  you 
take  these  words  to  mean  anything  less  than  that  you 
too — however  fitful  your  spiritual  life  has  hitherto 
been,  however  unfavourable  your  natural  character  or 
your  circumstances  may  appear — can  be  established 
in  Christ  Jesus,  can  become  an  established  Christian? 
Let  us  but  take  time  to  listen,  in  simple  childlike 
teachableness,  to  these  words  as  the  truth  of  God,  and 


GOD  HIMSELF  WILL  STABLISH  YOU  IN  HIM.   97 

the  confidence  will  come:  As  surely  as  I  am  in 
Christ,  I  shall  also,  day  by  day,  be  established  in 
Him. 

The  lesson  appears  so  simple;  and  yet  the  most  of 
us  take  so  long  to  learn  it.  The  chief  reason  is,  that 
the  grace  the  promise  offers  is  so  large,  so  Godlike, 
so  beyond  all  our  thoughts,  that  we  do  not  take  it 
really  to  mean  what  it  says.  The  believer  who  has 
once  come  to  see  and  accept  what  it  brings,  can  bear 
witness  to  the  wonderful  change  there  comes  over  the 
spiritual  life.  Hitherto  he  had  taken  charge  of  his 
own  welfare;  now  he  has  a  God  to  take  charge  of  it. 
He  now  knows  himself  to  be  in  the  school  of  God,  a 
teacher  who  plans  the  whole  course  of  study  for  each 
of  His  pupils  with  infinite  wisdom,  and  delights  to 
have  them  come  daily  for  the  lessons  He  has  to  give. 
All  he  asks  is  to  feel  himself  constantly  in  God's 
hands,  and  to  follow  His  guidance,  neither  lagging 
behind  nor  going  before.  Kemembering  that  it  is 
God  who  worketh  both  to  will  and  to  do,  he  sees 
his  only  safety  to  be  in  yielding  himself  to  God's 
working.  He  lays  aside  all  anxiety  about  his  inner 
life  and  its  growth,  because  the  Father  is  the  Hus- 
bandman under  whose  wise  and  watchful  care  each 
plant  is  well  secured.  He  knows  that  there  is  the 
prospect  of  a  most  blessed  life  of  strength  and  fruit- 
fulness  to  every  one  who  will  take  God  alone  and 
wholly  as  his  hope. 
7 


98  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Believer,  you  cannot  but  admit  that  such  a  life  of 
trust  must  be  a  most  blessed  one.  You  say,  perhaps, 
that  there  are  times  when  you  do,  with  your  whole 
heart,  consent  to  this  way  of  living,  and  do  wholly 
abandon  the  care  of  your  inner  life  to  your  Father. 
But  somehow  it  does  not  last.  You  forget  again; 
and  instead  of  beginning  eack  morning  with  the  joy- 
ous transference  of  all  the  needs  and  cares  of  your 
spiritual  life  to  the  Father's  charge,  you  again  feel 
anxious,  and  burdened,  and  helpless.  Is  it  not,  per- 
haps, my  brother,  because  you  have  not  committed  to 
the  Father's  care  this  matter  of  daily  remembering  to 
renew  your  entire  surrender?  Memory  is  one  of  the 
highest  powers  in  our  nature.  By  it  day  is  linked  to 
day,  the  unity  of  life  through  all  our  years  is  kept 
up,  and  we  know  that  we  are  still  ourselves.  In  the 
spiritual  life,  recollection  is  of  infinite  value.  For 
the  sanctifying  of  our  memory,  in  the  service  of  our 
spiritual  life,  God  has  provided  most  beautifully. 
The  Holy  Spirit  is  the  remembrancer,  the  Spirit  of 
recollection.  Jesus  said,  'He  shall  bring  all  things 
to  your  remembrance.'  *He  which  stablislieth  i>s 
with  you  in  Christ  is  God,  who  hath  also  sealed  us, 
and  given  the  earnest  of  the  Spirit  in  our  hearts.'*  It 
is  just  for  the  stablishing  that  the  Holy  Eemem- 
brancer  has  been  given.  God's  blessed  promises,  and 
your  unceasing  acts  of  faith  and  surrender  accepting 
of   them, — He   will  enable  you  to   remember   these 


GOD  HIMSELF  WILL  STABLISH  YOU  IN  HIM.   99 

each  day.  The  Holy  Spirit  is— blessed  be  God — the 
memory  of  the  new  man. 

Apply  this  to  the  promise  of  the  text:  'He  that 
stablisheth  us  in  Christ  is  God.'  As  you  now,  at  this 
moment,  abandon  all  anxiety  about  your  growth  and 
progress  to  the  God  who  has  undertaken  to  stablish 
you  in  the  Vine,  and  feel  what  a  joy  it  is  to  know 
that  God  alone  has  charge,  ask  and  trust  Him  by  the 
Holy  Spirit  ever  to  remind  you  of  this  your  blessed 
relation  to  Him.  He  will  do  it;  and  with  each  new 
morning  your  faith  may  grow  stronger  and  brighter: 
I  have  a  God  to  see  that  each  day  I  become  more 
firmly  united  to  Christ. 

And  now,  beloved  fellow-believer,  *the  God  of  all 
grace,  who  hath  called  us  io  Christ  Jesus,  make  you 
perfect^  stablish,  strengthen,  settle  yoit,'^  What  more 
can  you  desire?  Expect  it  confidently,  ask  it  fer- 
vently. Count  on  God  to  do  His  work.  And  learn 
in  faith  to  sing  the  song,  the  notes  of  which  each 
new  experience  will  make  deeper  and  sweeter:  'Now 
to  Him,  that  is  of  power  to  establish  you,  be  glory  for 
ever.  Amen.'  Yes,  glory  to  God,  who  has  under- 
taken to  establish  us  in  Christ ! 


100  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


THIRTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m   CHEIST 

EVERY  MOMENT. 

*In  that  day  sing  ye  unto  her,  A  vineyard  of  red  wine. 
I  the  Lord  do  keep  it ;  I  will  water  it  every  moment :  lesl 
any  hurt  it,  I  will  keep  it  night  and  day. ' — Isa.  xxvii.  2,  3. 

THE  vineyard  was  the  symbol  of  the  people  oi 
Israel,  in  whose  midst  the  True  Vine  was  to 
stand.  The  branch  is  the  symbol^  of  the  individual 
believer,  who  stands  in  the  Vine.  The  song  of  the 
vineyard  is  also  the  song  of  the  Vine  and  its  every 
branch.  The  command  still  goes  forth  to  the  watch- 
ers of  the  vineyard, — would  that  they  obeyed  it,  and 
sang  till  every  feeble-hearted  believer  had  learned 
and  joined  the  joyful  strain, — 'Sing  ye  unto  her:  I, 
Jehoyah,  do  keep  it;  I  will  water  it  every  moment : 
lest  any  hurt  it,  I  will  keep  it  night  and  day. ' 

What  an  answer  from  the  mouth  of  God  Himself 
to  the  question  so  often  asked :  Is  it  possible  for  the 
believer  always  to  abide  in  Jesus?  Is  a  life  of  un- 
broken fellowship  with  the  Son  of  God  indeed  attain- 
able here  in  this  earthly  life?  Truly  not,  if  the 
abiding  is  our  work,  to  be  done  in  our  strength. 
But  the  things  that  are  impossible  with  men  are  pos- 


EVERY  MOMENT,  101 

sible  with  God.  If  the  Lord  Himself  will  keep  the 
soul  night  and  day,  yea,  will  watch  and  water  it 
every  moment,  then  surely  the  uninterrupted  com- 
munion with  Jesus  becomes  a  blessed  possibility  to 
those  who  can  trust  God  to  mean  and  to  do  what  He 
says.  Then  surely  the  abiding  of  the  branch  of  the 
vine  day  and  night,  summer  and  winter,  in  a  never- 
ceasing  life-fellowship,  is  nothing  less  than  the  simple 
but  certain  promise  of  your  abiding  in  your  Lord. 

In  one  sense,  it  is  true,  there  is  no  believer  who 
does  not  always  abide  in  Jesus;  without  this  there 
could  not  be  true  life.  'If  a  man  abide  not  in  me, 
he  is  cast  forth.'  But  when  the  Saviour  gives  the 
command,  'Abide  in  me,'  with  the  promise,  'He  that 
abideth  in  me  bringeth  forth  much  fruit,'  He  speaks 
of  that  willing,  intelligent,  and  whole-hearted  sur- 
render by  which  we  accept  His  offer,  and  consent  to 
the  abiding  in  Him  as  the  only  life  we  choose  or  seek. 
The  objections  raised  against  our  right  to  expect  that 
we  shall  always  be  able  thus  voluntarily  and  con- 
sciously to  abide  in  Jesus  are  chiefly  two. 

The  one  is  derived  from  the  nature  of  man.  It  is 
said  that  our  limited  powers  prevent  our  being  occu- 
pied with  two  things  at  the  same  moment.  God'^ 
providence  places  many  Christians  in  business,  where 
for  hours  at  a  time  the  closest  attention  is  required  to 
the  work  they  have  to  do.  How  can  such  a  man,  it 
is  asked,  with  his  whole  mind  in  the  work  he  has  to 


102  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

do,  be  at  the  same  time  occupied  with  Christ,  and 
keeping  up  fellowship  with  Him?  The  consciousness 
of  abiding  in  Jesus  is  regarded  as  requiring  such  a 
strain,  and  such  a  direct  occupation  of  the  mind  with 
heavenly  thoughts,  that  to  enjoy  the  blessing  would 
imply  a  withdrawing  of  oneself  from  all  the  ordinary 
avocations  of  life.  This  is  the  same  error  as  drove 
the  first  monks  into  the  wilderness. 

Blessed  be  God,  there  is  no  necessity  for  such  a 
going  out  of  the  world.  Abiding  in  Jesus  is  not  a 
work  that  needs  each  moment  the  mind  to  be  en- 
gaged, or  the  affections  to  be  directly  and  actively 
occupied  with  it.  It  is  an  entrusting  of  oneself  to 
the  keeping  of  the  Eternal  Love,  in  the  faith  that  it 
will  abide  near  us,  and  with  its  holy  presence  watch 
over  us  and  ward  off  the  evil,  even  when  we  have  to 
be  most  intently  occupied  with  other  things.  And 
so  the  heart  has  rest  and  peace  and  joy  in  the  con- 
sciousness of  being  kept  when  it  cannot  keep  itself. 

In  ordinary  life,  we  have  abundant  illustration  of 
the  influence  of  a  supreme  affection  reigning  in  and 
guarding  the  soul,  while  the  mind  concentrates  itself 
on  work  that  requires  its  whole  attention.  Think  of 
the  father  of  a  family,  separated  for  a  time  from  his 
home,  that  he  may  secure  for  his  loved  ones  what 
they  need.  He  loves  his  wife  and  children,  and  longs 
much  to  return  to  them.  There  may  be  hours  of  in- 
tense occupation  when  he  has  not  a  moment  to  think 


EVERY  MOMENT,  103 

of  them,  and  yet  his  love  is  as  deep  and  real  as  when 
he  can  call  np  their  images;  all  the  while  his  love 
and  the  hope  of  making  them  happy  urge  him  on, 
and  fill  him  with  a  secret  joy  in  his  work.  Think  of 
a  king:  in  the  midst  of  work,  and  pleasure,  and 
trial,  he  all  the  while  acts  under  the  secret  influence 
of  the  consciousness  of  royalty,  even  while  he  does 
not  think  of  it.  A  loving  wife  and  mother  never  for 
one  moment  loses  the  sense  of  her  relation  to  the  hus- 
band and  children:  the  consciousness  and  the  love 
are  there  amid  all  her  engagements.  And  shall  it 
be  thought  impossible  for  the  Everlasting  Love  so  to 
take  and  keep  possession  of  our  spirits,  that  we  too 
shall  never  for  a  moment  lose  the  secret  consiious- 
ness:  We  are  in  Christ,  kept  in  Him  by  His  almighty 
power.  Oh,  it  is  possible;  we  can  be  sure  it  is.  Our 
abiding  in  Jesus  is  even  more  than  a  fellowship  of 
love, — it  is  a  fellowship  of  life.  In  work  or  in  rest, 
the  consciousness  of  life  never  leaves  us.  And  even 
so  can  the  mighty  power  of  the  Eternal  Life  maintain 
within  us  the  consciousness  of  its  presence.  Or 
rather,  Christ,  who  is  our  life,  Himself  dwells  within 
us,  and  by  His  presence  maintains  our  consciousness 
that  we  are  in  Him. 

The  second  objection  has  reference  to  our  sinful- 
ness. Christians  are  so  acccustomed  to  look  upon 
sinning  daily  as  something  absolutely  inevitable,  that 
they  regard  it  as  a  matter  of  course  that  no  one  can 


104  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

keep  up  abidiog  fellowship  with  the  Saviour:  we 
must  sometimes  be  unfaithful  and  fail.  As  if  it  was 
not  just  because  we  have  a  nature  which  is  naught 
but  a  very  fountain  of  sin,  that  the  abiding  in  Christ 
has  been  ordained  for  us  as  our  only  but  our  sufKcient 
deliverance!  As  if  it  were  not  the  Heavenly  Vine, 
the  living,  loving  Christ,  in  whom  we  have  to  abide, 
and  whose  almighty  power  to  hold  us  fast  is  to  be  the 
measure  of  our  expectations!  As  if  He  would  give  us 
the  command,  'Abide  in  me,'  without  securing  the 
grace  and  the  power  to  enable  us  to  perform  it!  As 
if,  above  all,  we  had  not  the  Father  as  the  Husband- 
man to  keep  us  from  falling,  and  that  not  in  a  large 
and  general  sense,  but  according  to  His  own  precious 
promise:  '  Night  and  day^  every  moment!''  Oh,  if  we 
will  but  look  to  our  God  as  the  Keeper  of  Israel,  of 
whom  it  is  said,  *Jehovah  shall  keep  thee  from  all 
evil;  He  shall  keep  thy  soul,'  we  shall  learn  to  be- 
lieve that  conscious  abiding  in  Christ  every  moment, 
night  and  day,  is  indeed  what  God  has  prepared  for 
them  that  love  Him. 

My  beloved  fellow-Christians,  let  nothing  less  than 
this  be  your  aim.  I  know  well  that  you  may  not  find 
it  easy  of  attainment;  that  there  may  come  more  than 
one  hour  of  weary  struggle  and  bitter  failure.  Were 
the  Church  of  Christ  what  it  should  be, — were  older 
believers  to  younger  converts  what  they  should  be, 
witnesses    to    God's    faithfulness,    like    Caleb    and 


EVERY  MOMENT,  105 

Joshua,  encouraging  their  brethren  to  go  up  and 
possess  the  land  with  their,  'We  are  well  able  to  over- 
come; if  the  Lord  delight  in  us,  then  He  will 
BRING  us  into  this  land,' — ^were  the  atmosphere 
which  the  young  believer  breathes  as  he  enters  the 
fellowship  of  the  saints  that  of  a  healthy,  trustful, 
joyful  consecration,  abiding  in  Christ  would  come  as 
the  natural  outgrowth  of  being  in  Him.  But  in  the 
sickly  state  in  which  such  a  great  part  of  tile  body  is, 
souls  that  are  pressing  after  this  blessing  are  sorely 
hindered  by  the  depressing  influence  of  the  thought 
and  the  life  around  them.  It  is  not  to  discourage 
that  I  say  this,  but  to  warn,  and  to  urge  to  a  more 
entire  casting  of  ourselves  upon  the  word  of  God 
Himself.  There  may  come  more  than  one  hour  in 
which  thou  art  ready  to  yield  to  despair;  but  be  of 
good  courage.  Only  believe.  He  who  has  put  the 
blessing  within  thy  reach  will  assuredly  lead  to  its 
possession. 

The  way  in  which  souls  enter  into  the  possession 
may  differ.  To  some  it  may  come  as  the  gift  of  a 
moment.  In  times  of  revival,  in  the  fellowship  with 
other  believers  in  whom  the  Spirit  is  working  effect- 
ually, under  the  leading  of  some  servant  of  God  who 
can  guide,  and  sometimes  in  solitude  too,  it  is  as  if 
all  at  once  a  new  revelation  comes  upon  the  soul.  It 
sees,  as  in  the  light  of  heaven,  the  strong  Vine  hold- 
ing and  bearing  the  feeble  branches  so  securely,  that 


106  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

doubt  becomes  impossible.  It  can  only  wonder 
how  it  ever  could  have  understood  the  words  to 
mean  aught  else  than  this:  To  abide  unceasingly 
in  Christ  is  the  portion  of  every  believer.  It  sees 
it;  and  to  believe,  and  rejoice,  and  love,  come  as  of 
itself. 

To  others  it  comes  by  a  slower  and  more  difficult 
path.  Day  by  day,  amid  discouragement  and  diffi- 
culty, the  soul  has  to  press  forward.  Be  of  good 
cheer;  this  way  too  leads  to  the  rest.  Seek  but  to 
keep  thy  heart  set  upon  the  promise:  'I  the  Lord  do 
KEEP  IT,  night  and  day.'  Take  from  His  own  lips 
the  watchword:  'Every  moinent.'^  In  that  thou  hast 
the  law  of  His  love,  and  the  law  of  thy  hope.  Be 
content  with  nothing  less.  Think  no  longer  that  the 
duties  and  the  cares,  that  the  sorrows  and  the  sins 
of  this  life  must  succeed  in  hindering  the  abiding  life 
of  fellowship.  Take  rather  for  the  rule  of  thy  daily 
experience  the  language  of  faith :  I  am  persuaded  that 
neither  death  with  its  fears,  nor  life  with  its  cares, 
nor  things  present  with  their  pressing  claims,  nor 
things  to  come  with  their  dark  shadows,  nor  height 
of  joy,  nor  depth  of  sorrow,  nor  any  other  creature, 
shall  be  able,  for  one  single  moment,  to  separate  us 
from  the  love  of  God  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus  our 
Lord,  and  in  which  He  is  teaching  me  to  abide.  If 
things  look  dark  and  faith  would  fail,  sing  again  the 
song  of  the  vineyard:    'I  the  Lord  do  keep  it;  I  will 


EVERY  MOMENT.  107 

water  it  every  momeBt:  lest  any  hurt  it,  I  will  keep 
it  night  and  day.'  And  be  assured  that,  if  Jehovah 
keep  the  branch  night  and  day,  and  water  it  every 
moment,  a  life  of  continuous  and  unbroken  fellow- 
ship with  Christ  is  indeed  our  privilege. 


108  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


FOURTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHEIST 

DAY  BY  DAY. 

'And  the  people  shall  go  out  and  gather  the  portion  of  a 
day  in  his  day.' — Ex.  xvi.  4  (marg.). 

^Y^HE  day^s  portion  in  its  day :  Such  was  the  rule 
for  God's  giving  and  man's  working  in  the 
ingathering  of  the  manna.  It  is  still  the  law  in  all 
the  dealings  of  God's  grace  with  His  children.  A 
clear  insight  into  the  beauty  and  application  of  this 
arrangement  is  a  wonderful  help  in  understanding 
how  one,  who  feels  himself  utterly  weak,  can  have 
the  confidence  and  the  perseverance  to  hold  on 
brightly  through  all  the  years  of  his  earthly  course. 
A  doctor  was  once  asked  by  a  patient  who  had  met 
with  a  serious  accident:  'Doctor,  how  long  shall  I 
have  to  lie  here?'  The  answer,  'Only  a  day  at  a 
time,'  taught  the  patient  a  precious  lesson.  It  was 
the  same  lesson  God  had  recorded  for  His  people  of 
all  ages  long  before:  The  day's  portion  in  its  day. 

It  was,  without  doubt,  with  a  view  to  this  and  to 
meet  man's  weakness,  that  God  graciously  appointed 
the  change  of  day  and  night.  If  time  had  been  given 
to  man  in  the  form   of  one  long  unbroken  day,  it 


DAY  BY  DAY,  109 

would  have  exhausted  and  overwhelmed  him;  the 
change  of  day  and  night  continually  recruits  and  re- 
creates his  powers.  As  a  child,  who  easily  makes 
himself  master  of  a  book,  when  each  day  only  the 
lesson  for  the  day  is  given  him,  would  be  utterly 
hopeless  if  the  whole  book  were  given  him  at  once; 
so  it  would  be  with  man,  if  there  were  no  divisions  in 
time.  Broken  small  and  divided  into  fragments,  he 
can  bear  them ;  only  the  care  and  the  work  of  each 
day  have  to  be  undertaken, — the  day's  portion  in  its 
day.  The  rest  of  the  night  fits  him  for  making  a 
fresh  start  with  each  new  morning;  the  mistakes  of 
the  past  can  be  avoided,  its  lessons  improved.  And 
he  has  only  each  day  to  be  faithful  for  the  one  short 
day,  and  long  years  and  a  long  life  take  care  of  them- 
selves, without  the  sense  of  their  length  or  their 
weight  ever  being  a  burden. 

Most  sweet  is  the  encouragement  to  be  derived  from 
this  truth  in  the  life  of  grace.  Many  a  soul  is  dis- 
quieted with  the  thought  as  to  how  it  will  be  able  to 
gather  and  to  keep  the  manna  needed  for  all  its  years 
of  travel  through  such  a  barren  wilderness.  It  has 
never  learnt  what  unspeakable  comfort  there  is  in  the 
word:  The  day's  portion  for  its  day.  That  word 
takes  away  all  care  for  the  morrow  most  completely. 
Only  to-day  is  thine;  to-morrow  is  the  Father's. 
The  question:  What  security  thou  hast  that  during 
all  the  years  in  which  thou  hast  to  contend  with  the 


110  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

coldness,  or  temptations,  or  trials  of  the  world,  thou 
wilt  always  abide  in  Jesus?  is  one  thou  needest,  yea, 
thou  mayest  not  ask.  Manna,  as  thy  food  and 
strength,  is  given  only  by  the  day;  faithfully  to  fill 
the  present  is  thy  only  security  for  the  future.  Ac- 
cept, and  enjoy,  and  fulfil  with  thy  whole  heart  the 
part  thou  hast  this  day  to  perform.  His  presence 
and  grace  enjoyed  to-day  will  remove  all  doubt 
whether  thou  canst  entrust  the  morrow  to  Him  too. 

How  great  the  value  which  this  truth  teaches  us  to 
attach  to  each  single  day!  We  are  so  easily  led  to 
look  at  life  as  a  great  whole,  and  to  neglect  the  little 
to-day,  to  forget  that  the  single  days  do  indeed  make 
up  the  whole,  and  that  the  value  of  each  single  day 
depends  on  its  influence  on  the  whole.  One  day  lost 
is  a  link  broken  in  the  chain,  which  it  often  takes 
more  than  another  day  to  mend.  One  day  lost  influ- 
ences the  next,  and  makes  its  keeping  more  diflBcult. 
Yea,  one  day  lost  may  be  the  loss  of  what  months  or 
years  of  careful  labour  had  secured.  The  experience 
of  many  a  believer  could  confirm  this. 

Believer!  would  you  abide  in  Jesus,  let  it  be  day 
by  day.  You  have  already  heard  the  message,  Mo- 
ment by  moment;  the  lesson  of  day  by  day  has  some- 
thing more  to  teach.  Of  the  moments  there  are 
many  where  there  is  no  direct  exercise  of  the  mind 
on  your  part;  the  abiding  is  in  the  deeper  recesses  of 
the  heart,  kept  by  the  Father,  to  whom  you  entrusted 


DAY  BY  DAY,  111 

yourself.  But  just  this  is  the  work  that  with  each 
new  day  has  to  be  renewed  for  the  day, — the  distinct 
renewal  of  surrender  and  trust  for  the  life  of  moment 
by  moment.  God  has  gathered  up  the  moments  and 
bound  them  up  into  a  bundle,  for  the  very  purpose 
that  we  might  take  measure  of  them.  As  we  look 
forward  in  the  morning,  or  look  back  in  the  evening, 
and  weigh  the  moments,  we  learn  how  to  value  and 
how  to  use  them  rightly.  And  even  as  the  Father, 
with  each  new  morning,  meets  you  with  the  promise 
of  just  sufficient  manna  for  the  day  for  yourself  and 
those  who  have  to  partake  with  you,  meet  Him  with 
the  bright  and  loving  renewal  of  your  acceptance  of 
the  position  He  has  given  you  in  His  beloved  Son. 
Accustom  yourself  to  look  upon  this  as  one  of  the 
reasons  for  the  appointment  of  day  and  night.  God 
thought  of  our  weakness,  and  sought  to  provide  for 
it.  Let  each  day  have  its  value  from  your  calling  to 
abide  in  Christ.  As  its  light  opens  on  your  waking 
eyes,  accept  it  on  these  terms:  A  day,  just  one  day 
only,  but  still  a  day,  given  to  abide  and  grow  up  in 
Jesus  Christ.  Whether  it  be  a  day  of  health  or  sick- 
ness, joy  or  sorrow,  rest  or  work,  of  struggle  or  vic- 
tory, let  the  chief  thought  with  which  you  receive  it 
in  the  morning  thanksgiving  be  this:  'A  day  that 
the  Father  gave;  in  it  I  may,  I  must  become  more 
closely  united  to  Jesus.'  As  the  Father  asks,  'Can 
yon  trust  me  just  for  this  one  day  to  keep  you  abid- 


112  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

ing  in  Jesus,  and  Jesus  to  keep  you  fruitful?'  you 
cannot  but  give  the  joyful  response:  'I  will  trust 
and  not  be  afraid.' 

The  day's  portion  for  its  day  Avas  given  to  Israel  in 
the  morning  very  early.  The  portion  was  for  use  and 
nourishment  during  the  whole  day,  but  the  giving 
and  the  getting  of  it  was  the  morning's  work.  This 
suggests  how  greatly  the  power  to  spend  a  day  aright, 
to  abide  all  the  day  in  Jesus,  depends  on  the  morning 
hour.  If  the  first-fruits  be  holy,  the  lump  is  holy. 
During  the  day  there  come  hours  of  intense  occupa- 
tion in  the  rush  of  business  or  the  throng  of  men, 
when  only  the  Father's  keeping  can  maintain  the 
connection  with  Jesus  unbroken.  The  morning 
manna  fed  all  the  day;  it  is  only  when  the  believer 
in  the  morning  secures  his  quiet  time  in  secret  to 
distinctly  and  effectually  renew  loving  fellowship  with 
his  Saviour,  that  the  abiding  can  be  kept  up  all  the 
day.  But  what  cause  for  thanksgiving  that  it  may 
be  done!  In  the  morning,  with  its  freshness  and 
quiet,  the  believer  can  look  out  upon  the  day.  He 
can  consider  its  duties  and  its  temptations,  and  pass 
them  through  beforehand,  as  it  were,  with  his  Sav- 
iour, throwing  all  upon  Him  who  has  undertaken  to 
be  everything  to  him.  Christ  is  his  manna,  his 
nourishment,  his  strength,  his  life:  he  can  take  the 
day's  portion  for  the  day,  Christ  as  his  for  all 
the  needs  the  day  may  bring,  and  go  on  in  the  as- 


DAY  BY  DAY.  113 

surance  that  the  day  will  be  one  of  blessing  and  of 
growth. 

And  then,  as  the  lesson  of  the  value  and  the  work 
of  the  single  day  is  being  taken  to  heart,  the  learner 
is  all  unconsciously  being  led  on  to  get  the  secret  of 
*day  by  day  continually'  {Ux.  xxix.  88).  The  blessed 
abiding  grasped  by  faith  for  each  day  apart  is  an  un- 
ceasing and  ever-increasing  growth.  Each  day  of 
faithfulness  brings  a  blessing  for  the  next;  makes 
both  the  trust  and  the  surrender  easier  and  more 
blessed.  And  so  the  Christian  life  grows:  as  we  give 
our  whole  heart  to  the  work  of  each  day,  it  becomes 
all  the  day,  and  from  that  every  day.  And  so  each 
day  separately,  all  the  day  continually,  day  by  day 
successively,  we  abide  in  Jesus.  And  the  days  make 
up  the  life:  what  once  appeared  too  high  and  too 
great  to  attain,  is  given  to  the  soul  that  was  con- 
tent to  take  and  use  *every  day  his  portion'  {Ezra  in. 
4)-,  'as  the  duty  of  every  day  required.'  Even  here 
on  earth  the  voice  is  heard:  *Well  done,  good  and 
faithful  servant,  thou  hast  been  faithful  over  few,  I 
will  make  thee  ruler  over  many:  enter  thou  into  the 
joy  of  thy  Lord.'  Our  daily  life  becomes  a  wonderful 
interchange  of  God's  daily  grace  and  our  daily  praise: 
'Daily  He  loadeth  us  with  His  benefits;'  'that  I  may 
daily  perform  my  vows.'  We  learn  to  understand 
God's  reason  for  daily  giving,  as  He  most  certainly 
gives,  only  enough,  but  also  fully  enough,  for  each 
8 


114  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

day.  And  we  get  into  His  way,  the  way  of  daily 
asking  and  expecting  only  enough,  but  most  certainly 
fully  enough,  for  the  day.  We  begin  to  number  our 
days  not  from  the  sun's  rising  over  the  world,  nor  by 
the  work  we  do  or  the  food  we  eat,  but  by  the  daily 
renewal  of  the  miracle  of  the  manna, — the  blessed- 
ness of  daily  fellowship  with  him  who  is  the  Life  and 
the  Light  of  the  world.  The  heavenly  life  is  as  un- 
broken and  continuous  as  the  earthly;  the  abiding  in 
Christ  each  day  has  for  that  day  brought  its  blessing; 
we  abide  in  Him  every  day,  and  all  the  day.  Lord, 
make  this  the  portion  of  each  one  of  us. 


AT  THIS  MOMENT,  115 


FIFTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   OHKIST 

AT  THIS  MOMENT. 

'Behold  NOW  is  the  accepted  time  ;  behold,  now  is  the  day 
of  salvation.  '—2  Cor.  vi.  2. 

THE  thought  of  living  moment  by  moment  is  of 
such  central  importance — looking  at  the  abiding 
in  Christ  from  our  side—that  we  want  once  more  to 
speak  of  it.  And  to  all  who  desire  to  learn  the  blessed 
art  of  living  only  a  moment  at  a  time,  we  want  to  say, 
The  way  to  learn  it  is  to  exercise  yourself  in  living  in 
the  present  moment.  Each  time  your  attention  is 
free  to  occupy  itself  with  the  thought  of  Jesus, — 
whether  it  be  with  time  to  think  and  pray,  or  only 
for  a  few  passing  seconds, — let  your  first  thought  be 
to  say,  Now,  at  this  moment,  I  do  abide  in  Jesus. 
Use  such  time,  not  in  vain  regrets  that  you  have  not 
been  abiding  fully,  or  still  more  hurtful  fears  that 
you  will  not  be  able  to  abide,  but  just  at  once  take 
the  position  the  Father  has  given  you:  'I  am  in 
Christ;  this  is  the  place  God  has  given  me.  I  accept 
it;  here  I  rest;  I  do  now  abide  in  Jesus.'  This  is 
the  way  to  learn  to  abide  continually.     You  may  be 


116  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

yet  so  feeble  as  to  fear  to  say  of  each  day,  *Iam 
abiding  in  Jesus;'  but  the  feeblest  can,  each  single 
moment,  say,  as  he  consents  to  occupy  his  place  as  a 
branch  in  the  vine,  *Yes,  I  do  abide  in  Christ.'  It 
is  not  a  matter  of  feeling, — it  is  not  a  question  of 
growth  or  strength  in  the  Christian  life, — it  is  the 
simple  question  whether  the  will  at  the  present  mo- 
ment desires  and  consents  to  recognise  the  place  you 
have  in  your  Lord,  and  to  accept  of  it.  If  you  are  a 
believer,  you  are  in  Christ.  If  you  are  in  Christ, 
and  wish  to  stay  there,  it  is  your  duty  to  say,  though 
it  be  but  for  a  moment,  'Blessed  Saviour,  I  abide  in 
Thee  now;  Thou  keepest  me  now.' 

It  has  been  well  said  that  in  that  little  word  now 
lies  one  of  the  deepest  secrets  of  the  life  of  faith.  At 
the  close  of  a  conference  on  the  spiritual  life,  a  min- 
ister of  experience  rose  and  spoke.  He  did  not  know 
that  he  had  learnt  any  truth  he  did  not  know  before, 
but  he  had  learnt  how  to  use  aright  what  he  had 
known.  He  had  learnt  that  it  was  his  privilege  at 
each  moment,  whatever  surrounding  circumstances 
might  be,  to  say,  'Jesus  saves  me  7iotv.^  This  is  in- 
deed the  secret  of  rest  and  victory.  If  I  can  say, 
*  Jesus  is  to  me  at  this  moment  all  that  God  gave  Him 
to  be, — life,  and  strength,  and  peace,' — I  have  but  as 
I  say  it  to  hold  still,  and  rest,  and  realise  it,  and  for 
that  moment  I  have  what  I  need.  As  my  faith  sees 
how  of  God  I  am  in  Christ,  and  takes  the  place  in 


AT  THIS  MOMENT.  117 

Him  my  Father  has  provided,  my  soul  can  peacefully 
settle  down :  Now  I  abide  in  Christ. 

Believer!  when  striving  to  find  the  way  to  abide  in 
Christ  from  moment  to  moment,  remember  that  the 
gateway  is:  Abide  in  Him  at  this  present  moment. 
Instead  of  wasting  effort  in  trying  to  get  into  a  state 
that  will  last,  just  remember  that  it  is  Christ  Himself, 
the  living,  loving  Lord,  who  alone  can  keep  you,  and 
is  waiting  to  do  so.  Begin  at  once  and  act  faith  in 
Him  for  the  present  moment:  this  is  the  only  way  to 
be  kept  the  next.  To  attain  the  life  of  permanent 
and  perfect  abiding  is  not  ordinarily  given  at  once  as 
a  possession  for  the  future:  it  comes  mostly  step  by 
step.  Avail  thyself,  therefore,  of  every  opportunity 
of  exercising  the  trust  of  the  present  moment.  Each 
time  thou  bowest  in  prayer,  let  there  first  be  an  act 
of  simple  devotion:  'Father,  I  am  in  Christ;  I  now 
abide  in  Him.'  Each  time  thou  hast,  amidst  the 
bustle  of  duty,  the  opportunity  of  self -recollection, 
let  its  first  involuntary  act  be:  'I  am  still  in  Christ, 
abiding  in  Him  now.'  '  Even  when  overtaken  by  sin, 
and  the  heart  within  is  all  disturbed  and  excited,  0 
let  thy  first  look  upwards  be  with  the  word:  'Father, 
I  have  sinned;  and  yet  I  come — though  I  blush  to 
say  it — as  one  who  is  in  Christ.  Father!  here  I  am ; 
I  can  take  no  other  place;  of  God  I  am  in  Christ;  I 
now  abide  in  Christ.'  Yes,  Christian,  in  every  pos- 
sible circumstance,   every  moment  of  the  day,  the 


118  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

voice  is  calling,  Abide  in  me :  do  it  now.  And  even 
now,  as  thou  art  reading  this,  0  come  at  once,  and 
enter  upon  the  blessed  life  of  always  abiding,  by  doing 
it  at  once:  do  it  now. 

In  the  life  of  David  there  is  a  beautiful  passage 
which  may  help  to  make  this  thought  clearer  {2  Sam. 
in.  17^  18).  David  had  been  anointed  king  in  Judah. 
The  other  tribes  still  followed  Ish-bosheth,  Saul's  son. 
Abner,  Saul's  chief  captain,  resolves  to  lead  the  tribes 
of  Israel  to  submit  to  David,  the  God-appointed  king 
of  the  whole  nation.  He  speaks  to  the  elders  of 
Israel :  'Ye  sought  for  David  in  times  past  to  be  king 
over  you ;  now  then  do  it,  for  Jehovah  hath  spoken  of 
David,  saying.  By  the  hand  of  my  servant  David  will 
I  save  my  people  Israel  out  of  the  hand  of  the  Philis- 
tines, and  out  of  the  hand  of  all  their  enemies.' 
And  they  did  it,  and  anointed  David  a  second  time 
to  be  king,  now  over  all  Israel,  as  at  first  only  over 
Judah  {2  Sam,  v.  S), — a  most  instructive  type  of  the 
way  in  which  a  soul  is  led  to  the  life  of  entire  surren- 
der and  undivided  allegiance,  to  the  full  abiding. 

First  you  have  the  divided  Tcingdom:  Judah  faithful 
to  the  king  of  God's  appointment;  Israel  still  cling- 
ing to  the  king  of  its  own  choosing.  As  a  conse- 
quence, the  nation  divided  against  itself,  and  no 
power  to  conquer  the  enemies.  Picture  of  the 
divided  heart.  Jesus  accepted  as  King  in  Judah, 
the  place  of  the  holy  mount,  in  the  inner  chamber  of 


AT  THIS  MOMENT,  119 

the  soul;  but  the  surrounding  territory,  the  every- 
day life,  not  yet  brought  to  subjection:  more  than 
half  the  life  still  ruled  by  self-will  and  its  hosts. 
And  so  no  real  peace  within  and  no  power  over  the 
enemies. 

Then  there  is  the  longing  desire  for  a  better  state : 
*Ye  sought  for  David  in  times  past  to  be  king  over 
you.'  There  was  a  time,  when  David  had  conquered 
the  Philistines,  that  Israel  believed  in  him;  but  they 
had  been  led  astray.  Abner  appeals  to  their  own 
knowledge  of  God's  will,  that  David  must  rule  over 
all.  So  the  believer,  when  first  brought  to  Jesus,  did 
indeed  want  Him  to  be  Lord  over  all,  had  hoped  that 
He  alone  would  be  king.  But,  alas!  unbelief  and 
self-will  had  come  in,  and  Jesus  could  not  assert  His 
power  over  the  whole  life.  And  yet  the  Christian  is 
not  content.  How  he  longs — sometimes  without 
daring  to  hope  that  it  can  be — for  a  better  time. 

Then  follows  God^s  promise,  Abner  says:  *The 
Lord  hath  spoken,  By  the  hand  of  David  I  will  save 
my  people  from  the  hand  of  all  their  enemies.'  He 
appeals  to  God's  promise:  as  David  had  conquered 
the  Philistines,  the  nearest  enemy  in  time  past,  so  he 
alone  could  conquer  those  farther  off.  He  should 
save  Israel  from  the  hand  of  all  their  enemies. 
Beautiful  type  of  the  promise  by  which  the  soul  is 
now  invited  to  trust  Jesus  for  the  victory  over  every 
enemy,  and  a  life  of  undisturbed  fellowship.     'The 


120  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Lord  hath  spoken/ — this  is  our  only  hope.  On  that 
word  rests  the  sure  expectation  {Luke  i.  70-75) :  'As 
He  spahe^  That  we  should  be  saved  from  the  hand  of 
all  that  hate  us,  to  perform  the  oath  which  He  sware, 
that  He  would  grant  unto  us  that  we,  being  delivered 
from  the  hand  of  our  enemies,  should  serve  Him 
without  fear,  in  holiness  and  righteousness  before 
Him,  all  the  days  of  our  life.'  David  reigning  over 
every  corner  of  the  land,  and  leading  a  united  and 
obedient  people  on  from  victory  to  victory;  this  is 
the  promise  of  what  Jesus  can  do  for  us,  as  soon  as 
in  faith  in  God's  promise  all  is  surrendered  to  Him, 
and  the  whole  life  given  up  to  be  kept  abiding  in  Him. 
'Ye  sought  for  David  in  times  past  to  be  king  over 
you,'  spake  Abner,  and  added,  'Then  do  it  now.' 
Do  it  noiv  is  the  message  that  this  story  brings  to  each 
one  of  us  who  longs  to  give  Jesus  unreserved  suprem- 
acy. Whatever  the  present  moment  be,  however 
unprepared  the  message  finds  thee,  however  sad  the 
divided  and  hopeless  state  of  the  life  may  be,  still  I 
come  and  urge  Christ's  claim  to  an  immediate  surren- 
der— this  very  moment.  I  know  well  that  it  will 
take  time  for  the  blessed  Lord  to  assert  His  power, 
and  order  all  within  thee  according  to  His  will — to 
conquer  the  enemies  and  train  all  thy  powers  for  His 
service.  This  is  not  the  work  of  a  moment.  But 
there  are  things  which  are  the  work  of  a  moment — 
of  this  moment.     The  one  is — thy  surrender  of  all  to 


AT  THIS  MOMENT.  121 

Jesus;  thy  surrender  of  thyself  entirely  to  live  only 
in  Him.  As  time  goes  on,  and  exercise  has  made 
faith  stronger  and  brighter,  that  surrender  may  be- 
come clearer  and  more  intelligent.  But  for  this  no 
one  may  wait.  The  only  way  ever  to  attain  it  is 
to  begin  at  once.  Do  it  now.  Surrender  thyself  this 
very  moment  to  abide  wholly,  only,  always  in  Jesus. 
It  is  the  work  of  a  moment.  And  just  so,  Christ's 
renewed  acceptance  of  thee  is  the  work  of  a  moment. 
Be  assured  that  He  has  thee  and  holds  thee  as  His 
own,  and  that  each  new  *  Jesus,  I  do  abide  in  Thee,' 
meets  with  an  immediate  and  most  hearty  response 
from  the  Unseen  One.  No  act  of  faith  can  be  in 
vain.  He  does  indeed  anew  take  hold  on  us  and 
draw  us  close  to  Himself.  Therefore,  as  often  as  the 
message  comes,  or  the  thought  of  it  comes,  Jesus  says. 
Abide  in  me:  do  it  at  once.  Each  moment  there  is 
the  whisper.  Do  it  now. 

Let  any  Christian  begin,  then,  and  he  will  speedily 
experience  how  the  blessing  of  the  present  moment  is 
passed  on  to  the  next.  It  is  the  unchanging  Jesus 
to  whom  he  links  himself;  it  is  the  power  of  a  Divine 
life,  in  its  unbroken  continuity,  that  takes  possession 
of  him.  The  do  it  now  of  the  present  moment — a 
little  thing  though  it  seems — is  nothing  less  than  the 
beginning  of  the  ever-present  now,  which  is  the  mys- 
tery and  the  glory  of  Eternity.  Therefore,  Chris- 
tian, abide  in  Christ:  do  itnoio. 


122  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


SIXTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHEIST 

FORSAKING  ALL  FOR  HIM. 

'I  have  suffered  the  loss  of  all  things,  and  do  count  them 
but  dung,  that  I  may  win  Christ,  and  be  found  in  Him.  ' — 
Phil.  iii.  8,  9. 

WHEREVER  there  is  life,  there  is  a  continual  in- 
terchange of  taking  in  and  giving  out,  receiv- 
ing and  restoring.  The  nourishment  I  take  is  given 
out  again  in  the  work  I  do;  the  impressions  I  receive, 
in  the  thoughts  and  feelings  I  express.  The  one  de- 
pends on  the  other, — the  giving  out  ever  increases 
the  power  of  taking  in.  In  the  healthy  exercise  of 
giving  and  taking  is  all  the  enjoyment  of  life. 

It  is  so  in  the  spiritual  life  too.  There  are  Chris- 
tians who  look  on  its  blessedness  as  consisting  all  in 
the  privilege  of  ever  receiving;  they  know  not  how 
the  capacity  for  receiving  is  only  kept  up  and  enlarged 
by  continual  giving  up  and  giving  out,— how  it  is 
only  in  the  emptiness  that  comes  from  the  parting 
with  what  we  have,  that  the  Divine  fulness  can  flow 
in.  It  was  a  truth  our  Saviour  continually  insisted 
on.  When  He  spoke  of  selling  all  to  secure  the 
treasure  of  losing  our  life  to  find  it,  of  the  hundred- 


i 


FORSAKING  ALL  FOR  HIM.  123 

fold  to  those  who  forsake  all.  He  was  expounding  the 
need  of  self-sacrifice  as  the  law  of  the  kingdom  for 
Himself  as  well  as  for  His  disciples.  If  we  are  really 
to  abide  in  Christ,  and  to  be  found  in  Him, — to  have 
our  life  always  and  wholly  in  Him, — we  must  each  in 
our  measure  say  with  Paul,  *I  count  all  things  hut 
loss  for  the  excellency  of  the  knowledge  of  Christ 
Jesus  my  Lord,  that  I  may  win  Christ,  and  be  rouKi) 
IN  Him.' 

Let  us  try  and  see  what  there  is  to  be  forsaken  and 
given  up.  First  of  all,  there  is  sin.  There  can  be 
no  true  conversion  without  the  giving  up  of  sin. 
And  yet,  owing  to  the  ignorance  of  the  young  con- 
vert of  what  really  is  sin,  of  what  the  claims  of  God's 
holiness  are,  and  what  the  extent  to  which  the  power 
of  Jesus  can  enable  us  to  conquer  sin,  the  giving  up 
of  sin  is  but  partial  and  superficial.  With  the  growth 
of  the  Christian  life  there  comes  the  want  of  a  deeper 
and  more  entire  purging  out  of  everything  that  is 
unholy.  And  it  is  specially  when  the  desire  to  abide 
in  Christ  uninterrupedly,  to  be  always  found  in  Him, 
becomes  strong,  that  the  soul  is  led  to  see  the  need  of 
a  new  act  of  surrender,  in  which  it  afresh  accepts 
and  ratifies  its  death  to  sin  in  Christ,  and  parts  in- 
deed with  everything  that  is  sin.  Availing  himself, 
in  the  strength  of  God's  Spirit,  of  that  wonderful 
power  of  our  nature  by  which  the  whole  of  one's 
future  life  can  be  gathered  up  and  disposed  of  in  one 


124  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

act  of  the  will,  the  believer  yields  himself  to  sin  no 
more, — to  be  only  and  wholly  a  servant  of  righteous- 
ness. He  does  it  in  the  joyful  assurance  that  every 
sin  surrendered  is  gain  indeed, — room  for  the  inflow- 
ing of  the  presence  and  the  love  of  Christ. 

Next  to  the  parting  with  unrighteousness  is  the 
giving  up  of  self-righteousness.  Though  contending 
most  earnestly  against  our  own  works  or  merits,  it  is 
often  long  before  we  come  really  to  understand  what 
it  is  to  refuse  self  the  least  place  or  right  in  the  ser- 
vice of  God.  Unconsciously  we  allow  the  actings  of 
our  own  mind  and  heart  and  will  free  scope  in  God's 
presence.  In  prayer  and  worship,  in  Bible  reading 
and  working  for  God,  instead  of  absolute  dependence 
on  the  Holy  Spirit's  leading,  self  is  expected  to  do 
a  work  it  never  can  do.  We  are  slow  to  learn  the 
lesson,  *In  me,  that  is  in  my  flesh,  dwelleth  no  good 
thing. '  As  it  is  learnt,  and  we  see  how  corruption 
extends  to  everything  that  is  of  nature,  we  see  that 
there  can  be  no  entire  abiding  in  Christ  without  the 
giving  up  of  all  that  is  of  self  in  religion, — without 
giving  it  up  to  the  death,  and  waiting  for  the  breath- 
ings of  the  Holy  Spirit  as  alone  able  to  work  in  us 
what  is  acceptable  in  God's  sight.  Then,  again,,  there 
is  our  whole  natural  life,  with  all  the  powers  and 
endowments  bestowed  upon  us  by  the  Creator,  with 
all  the  occupations  and  interests  with  which  Provi- 
dence has  surrounded  us.     It  is  not  enough  that, 


FORSAKING  ALL  FOR  HIM,  126 

when  once  you  are  truly  converted,  you  have  the 
earnest  desire  to  have  all  these  devoted  to  the  service 
of  the  Lord.  The  desire  is  good,  but  can  neither 
teach  the  way  nor  give  the  strength  to  do  it  accept- 
ably. Incalculable  harm  has  been  done  to  the  deeper 
spirituality  of  the  Church,  by  the  idea  that  when 
once  we  are  God's  children  the  using  of  our  gifts  in 
His  service  follows  as  a  matter  of  course.  No;  for  this 
there  is  indeed  needed  very  special  grace.  And  the 
way  in  which  the  grace  comes  is  again  that  of  sacri- 
fice and  surrender.  I  must  see  how  all  my  gifts  and 
powers  are,  even  though  I  be  a  child  of  God,  still 
defiled  by  sin,  and  under  the  power  of  the  flesh.  I 
must  feel  that  I  cannot  at  once  proceed  to  use  them 
for  God's  glory.  I  must  first  lay  them  at  Christ's 
feet,  to  be  accepted  and  cleansed  by  Him.  /  must 
feel  myself  utterly  powerless  to  use  them  aright.  I 
must  see  that  they  are  most  dangerous  to  me,  because 
through  them  the  flesh,  the  old  nature,  self,  will  so 
easily  exert  its  power.  In  this  conviction  I  must 
part  with  them,  giving  them  entirely  up  to  the  Lord. 
When  He  has  accepted  them,  and  set  His  stamp  upon 
them,  I  receive  them  back,  to  hold  them  as  His 
property,  to  wait  on  Him  for  the  grace  to  daily  use 
them  aright,  and  to  have  them  act  only  under  His  in- 
fluence. And  so  experience  proves  it  true  here  too 
that  the  path  of  entire  consecration  is  the  path  of 
full  salvation.     JSot  only  is  what  is  thus  given  up 


136  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

received  back  again  to  become  doubly  our  own,  but 
the  forsaking  all  is  followed  by  the  receiving  all.  We 
abide  in  Christ  more  fully  as  we  forsake  all  and 
follow  Him.  As  I  count  all  things  loss  for  His  sake, 
I  am  found  IN  Him. 

The  same  principle  holds  good  of  all  the  lawful 
occupations  and  possessions  with  which  we  are  en- 
trusted of  God.  Such  were  the  fish-nets  on  the  Sea 
of  Galilee,  and  the  household  duties  of  Martha  of 
Bethany, — the  home  and  the  friends  of  many  a  one 
among  Jesus'  disciples.  Jesus  taught  them  in  very 
deed  to  forsake  all  for  Him.  It  was  no  arbitrary 
command,  but  the  simple  application  of  a  law  in 
nature  to  the  kingdom  of  His  grace, — that  the  more 
perfectly  the  old  occupant  is  cast  out,  the  more  com- 
plete can  be  the  possession  of  the  new,  and  the  more 
entire  the  renewal  of  all  within. 

This  principle  has  a  still  deeper  application.  The 
truly  spiritual  gifts  which  are  the  working  of  God's 
own  Holy  Spirit  within  us, — these  surely  need  not  be 
thus  given  up  and  surrendered?  They  do  indeed; 
the  interchange  of  giving  up  and  taking  in  is  a  life 
process,  and  may  not  cease  for  a  moment.  No 
sooner  does  the  believer  begin  to  rejoice  in  the  posses- 
sion of  what  he  has,  than  the  inflow  of  new  grace  is 
retarded,  and  stagnation  threatens.  It  is  only  into 
the  thirst  of  an  empty  soul  that  the  streams  of  living 
waters  flow.     Each  blessed  experience  we  receive  ad 


FORSAKING  ALL  FOR  HIM.  127 

a  gift  of  God,  must  at  once  be  returned  back  to  Him 
from  whom  it  came,  in  praise  and  love,  in  self-sacri- 
fice and  service;  so  only  can  it  be  restored  to  us 
again,  fresh  and  beautiful  with  the  bloom  of  heaven. 
Is  not  this  the  wonderful  lesson  Isaac  on  Moriah 
teaches  us?  Was  he  not  the  son  of  promise,  the  God- 
given  life,  the  wonder-gift  of  the  omnipotence  of  Him 
who  quickeneth  the  dead?  {Rom.  iv,  17.)  And  yet 
even  he  had  to  be  given  up,  and  sacrificed,  that  he 
might  be  received  back  again  a  thousandfold  more 
precious  than  before, — a  type  of  the  Only-begotten 
of  the  Father,  whose  pure  and  holy  life  had  to  be 
given  up  ere  He  could  receive  it  again  in  resurrection 
power,  and  make  His  people  partakers  of  it.  A  type, 
too,  of  what  takes  place  in  the  life  of  each  believer, 
as,  instead  of  resting  content  with  past  experiences 
or  present  graces,  he  presses  on,  forgetting  and  giving 
up  all  that  is  behind,  and  reaches  out  to  the  fullest 
possible  apprehension  of  Christ  His  life. 

And  such  surrender  of  all  for  Christ,  is  it  a  single 
step,  the  act  and  experience  of  a  moment,  or  is  it  a 
course  of  daily  renewed  and  progressive  attainment? 
It  is  both.  There  may  be  a  moment  in  the  life  of  a 
believer  when  he  gets  a  first  sight,  or  a  deeper  insight, 
of  this  most  blessed  truth,  and  when,  made  willing 
in  the  day  of  God's  power,  he  does  indeed,  in  an  act 
of  the  will,  gather  up  the  whole  of  life  yet  before  him 
into  the  decision  of  a  moment,  and  lay  himself  on  the 


138  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

altar  a  living  and  an  acceptable  sacrifice.  Such  mo- 
ments have  often  been  the  blessed  transition  from  a 
life  of  wandering  and  failure  to  a  life  of  abiding  and 
power  Divine.  But  even  then  his  daily  life  becomes, 
what  the  life  must  be  of  each  one  who  has  no  such 
experience,  the  unceasing  prayer  for  more  light  on 
tlfe  meaning  of  entire  surrender,  the  ever-renewed 
offering  up  of  all  he  has  to  God. 

Believer,  wouldest  thou  abide  in  Christ,  see  here 
the  blessed  path.  Nature  shrinks  back  from  such 
self-denial  and  crucifixion  in  its  rigid  application 
to  our  life  in  its  whole  extent.  But  what  nature  does 
not  love  and  cannot  perform,  grace  will  accomplish, 
and  make  to  thee  a  life  of  joy  and  glory.  Do  thou 
but  yield  up  thyself  to  Christ  thy  Lord ;  the  conquer- 
ing power  of  His  incoming  presence  will  make  it  joy 
to  cast  out  all  that  before  was  most  precious.  *A 
hundred-fold  in  this  life:'  this  word  of  the  Master 
comes  true  to  all  who,  with  whole-hearted  faithfulness, 
accept  His  commands  to  forsake  all.  The  blessed 
receiving  soon  makes  the  giving  up  most  blessed  too. 
And  the  secret  of  a  life  of  close  abiding  will  be  seen 
to  be  simply  this:  As  I  give  myself  wholly  to  Christ, 
I  find  the  power  to  take  Him  wholly  for  myself;  and 
as  I  lose  myself  and  all  I  have  for  Him,  He  takes  me 
wholly  for  Himself,  and  gives  Himself  wholly  to  me. 


THROUGH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT.         .    129 


SEVENTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHKIST 

THROUGH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT. 

'The  auointing  which  ye  received  of  Him,  abideth  in 
you ;  and  even  as  it  hath  taught  you,  ye  shall  abide  in 
Him.  '—1  John  ii.  27. 

HOW  beautiful  the  thought  of  a  life  always  abiding 
in  Christ!  The  longer  we  think  of  it,  the  more 
attractive  it  becomes.  And  yet  how  often  it  is  that 
the  precious  words,  'Abide  in  me,'  are  heard  by  the 
young  disciple  with  a  sigh !  It  is  as  if  he  understands 
so  little  what  they  really  mean,  and  can  realize  so 
little  how^  this  full  enjoyment  can  be  attained.  He 
longs  for  some  one  who  could  make  it  perfectly  clear, 
and  continually  again  remind  him  that  the  abiding 
is  in  very  deed  within  his  reach.  If  such  an  one 
would  but  listen  to  the  word  we  have  from  John  this 
day,  what  hope  and  joy  it  would  bring !  It  gives  us 
the  Divine  assurance  that  we  have  the  anointing  of 
the  Holy  Spirit  to  teach  us  all  things,  also  to  teach 
us  how  to  abide  in  Christ. 

Alas!  some  one  answers,  this  word  does  not  give 
me  comfort,  it  only  depresses  me  more.     For  it  tells 
of  another  privilege  I  so  little  know  to  enjoy :   I  do 
9 


130  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

not  understand  how  the  teaching  of  the  Spirit  is 
given, — where  or  how  I  can  discern  His  voice.  If 
the  Teacher  is  so  unknown,  no  wonder  that  the 
promise  of  His  teaching  about  the  abiding  does  not 
help  me  much. 

Thoughts  like  these  come  from  an  error  which  is 
very  common  among  believers.  They  imagine  that 
the  Spirit,  in  teaching  them,  must  reveal  the  mys- 
teries of  the  spiritual  life  first  to  their  intellect,  and 
afterwards  in  their  experience.  And  God's  way  is 
just  the  contrary  of  this.  What  holds  true  of  all 
spiritual  truth  is  specially  true  of  the  abiding  in 
Christ :  We  must  live  and  experience  truth  in  order  to 
know  it.  Life-fellowship  with  Jesus  is  the  only  school 
for  the  science  of  heavenly  things.  *  What  I  do,  thou 
knowest  not  now,  but  thou  shalt  know  hereafter,'  is 
a  law  of  the  kingdom,  especially  true  of  the  daily 
cleansing  of  which  it  first  was  spoken,  and  the  daily 
keeping.  Keceive  what  thou  dost  not  comprehend, 
submit  to  what  thou  canst  not  understand,  accept 
and  expect  what  to  reason  appears  a  mystery,  believe 
what  looks  impossible,  walk  in  a  way  which  thou 
knowest  not, — such  are  the  first  lessons  in  the  school 
of  God.  'Ifye  abide  in  my  word,  ye  shall  understand 
the  truth:'  in  these  and  other  words  of  God  we  are 
taught  that  there  is  a  habit  of  mind  and  life  which 
precedes  the  understanding  of  the  truth.  True  dis- 
cipleship  consists  m  first  following,  and  then  knowing 


THROUGH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT.  131 

the  Lord.  The  believing  surrender  to  Christ,  and 
the  submission  to  His  word  to  expect  what  appears 
most  improbable,  is  the  only  way  to  the  full  blessed- 
ness of  knowing  Him. 

These  principles  hold  specially  good  in  regard  to 
the  teaching  of  the  Spirit.  That  teaching  consists 
in  His  guiding  the  spiritual  life  toithin  us  to  that 
which  God  has  prepared  for  us^  without  our  always 
knowing  hoiu.  On  the  strength  of  God's  promise, 
and  trusting  in  His  faithfulness,  the  believer  yields 
himself  to  the  leading  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  without 
claiming  to  have  it  first  made  clear  to  the  intellect 
what  He  is  to  do,  but  consenting  to  let  Him^o  His 
work  in  the  soul,  and  afterwards  to  know  what  He 
has  wrought  there.  Faith  trusts  the  working  of  the 
Spirit  unseen  in  the  deep  recesses  of  the  inner  life. 
And  so  the  word  of  Christ  and  the  gift  of  the  Spirit 
are  to  the  believer  sufficient  guarantee  that  He  will 
be  taught  of  the  Spirit  to  abide  in  Christ.  By  faith 
he  rejoices  in  what  he  does  not  see  or  feel:  he  knows, 
and  is  confident  that  the  blessed  Spirit  within  is  doing 
His  work  silently  but  surely,  guiding  him  into  the 
life  of  full  abiding  and  unbroken  communion.  The 
Holy  Spirit  is  the  Spirit  of  life  in  Christ  Jesus;  it 
is  His  work,  not  only  to  breathe,  but  ever  to  foster 
and  strengthen,  and  so  to  perfect  the  new  life  within. 
And  just  in  proportion  as  the  believer  yields  himself 
in  simple  trust  to  the  unseen,  but  most  certain  law 


132  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

of  the  Spirit  of  life  working  within  him,  his  faith 
will  pass  into  knowledge.  It  will  be  rewarded  by  the 
Spirit's  light  revealing  in  the  Word  what  has  already 
been  wrought  by  the  Spirit's  power  in  the  life. 

Apply  this  now  to  the  promise  of  the  Spirit's  teach- 
ing ns  to  abide  in  Christ.  The  Holy  Spirit  is  indeed 
the  mighty  power  of  God.  And  He  comes  to  ns  from 
the  heart  of  Christ,  the  bearer  of  Christ's  life,  the 
revealer  and  communicator  of  Christ  Himself  within 
us.  In  the  expression,  'the  fellowship  of  the  Spirit,' 
we  are  taught  what  His  highest  work  is.  He  is  the 
bond  of  fellowship  between  the  Father  and  the  Son: 
by  Him  they  are  one.  He  is  the  bond  of  fellowship 
between  all  believers:  by  Him  they  are  one.  Above 
all,  He  is  the  bond  of  fellowship  between  Christ  and 
believers;  He  is  the  life-sap  through  which  Vine  and 
branch  grow  into  real  and  living  oneness:  by  Him 
we  are  one.  And  we  can  be  assured  of  it,  that  if  we 
do  but  believe  in  His  presence  and  working,  if  we  do 
but  watch  not  to  grieve  Him,  because  we  know  that 
He  is  in  us,  if  we  wait  and  pray  to  be  filled  with 
Him,  He  will  teach  us  how  to  abide.  First  guiding 
our  will  to  a  whole-hearted  cleaving  to  Christ,  then 
quickening  our  faith  into  ever  larger  confidence  and 
expectation,  then  breathing  into  our  hearts  a  peace 
and  joy  that  pass  understanding.  He  teaches  us  to 
abide,  we  scarce  Know  how.  Then  coming  through 
the  heart  and  life  into  the  understanding.  He  makes 


THROUGH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT.  138 

US  know  the  truth, — not  as  mere  thought-truth,  but 
as  the  truth  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus,  the  reflection 
into  the  mind  of  the  light  of  what  He  has  already 
made  a  reality  in  the  life.  'The  life  was  the  light 
of  men.' 

In  view  of  such  teaching,  it  is  clear  how,  if  we 
would  have  the  Spirit  to  guide  us  into  the  abiding  life, 
our  first  need  is — quiet,  restful  faith.  Amid  all  the 
questions  and  difficulties  that  may  come  up  in  connec- 
tion with  our  striving  to  abide  in  Christ, — amid  all 
the  longing  we  may  sometimes  feel  to  have  a  Christian 
of  experience  to  aid  us, — amid  the  frequent  painful 
consciousness  of  failure,  of  ignorance,  of  helplessness, 
— do  let  us  hold  fast  the  blessed  confidence :  We  have 
the  unction  of  the  Holy  One  to  teach  tcs  to  aMde  in 
Him.  'The  Akoihtikg  which  ye  have  received  of 
Him,  ABiDETH  11^  you;  and  even  as  it  hath  taught 
you,  YE  SHALL  ABIDE  IN  HiM. '  Make  this  teaching 
of  His  in  connection  with  the  abiding  matter  of 
special  exercise  of  faith.  Believe  that  as  surely  as 
thou  hast  part  in  Christ  thou  hast  His  Spirit  too. 
Believe  that  He  will  do  His  work  with  power,  if  only 
thou  dost  not  hinder  Him.  Believe  that  He  is  work- 
ing, even  when  thou  canst  not  discern  it.  Believe 
that  He  will  work  mightily  if  thou  dost  ask  this  from 
the  Father.  It  is  impossible  to  live  4he  life  of  full 
abiding  without  being  full  of  the  Holy  Spirit;  believe 
that  the  fulness  of  the  Spirit  is  indeed  thy  daily  por- 


134  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

tion.  Be  sure  and  take  time  in  prayer  to  dwell  at 
the  footstool  of  the  throne  of  God  and  the  Lamb, 
whence  flows  the  river  of  the  water  of  life.  It  is  there^ 
and  only  there^  that  thou  canst  be  filled  with  the 
Spirit.  Cultivate  carefully  the  habit  of  daily,  yea, 
continually  honouring  Him  by  the  quiet,  restful  con- 
fidence that  He  is  doing  His  work  within.  Let  faith 
in  His  indwelling  make  thee  jealous  of  whatever  could 
grieve  Him, — the  spirit  of  the  world  or  the  actings 
of  self  and  the  flesh.  Let  that  faith  seek  its  nourish- 
ment in  the  Word  and  all  it  says  of  the  Spirit,  His 
power,  His  comfort,  and  His  work.  Above  all,  let 
that  faith  in  the  Spirit's  indwelling  lead  thee  spe- 
cially, to  look  away  to  Jesus;  as  we  have  received  the 
anointing  of  Him^  it  comes  in  ever  stronger  flow  from 
Him  as  we  are  occupied  with  Him  alone.  Christ  is 
the  Anointed  One.  As  we  look  up  to  Him,  the  holy 
anointing  comes,  *the  precious  ointment  upon  the 
head  of  Aaron,  that  went  down  to  the  skirts  of  his 
garments. '  It  is  faith  in  Jesus  that  brings  the  anoint- 
ing; the  anointing  leads  to  Jesus,  and  to  the  abiding 
in  Him  alone. 

Believer,  abide  in  Christ,  in  the  power  of  the  Spirit. 
What  think  you,  ought  the  abiding  longer  to  be  a 
fear  or  a  burden?  Surely  not.  Oh,  if  we  did  but 
know  the  graciousness  of  our  Holy  Comforter,  and 
the  blessedness  of  wholly  yielding  ourselves  to  His 
leading,  we  should  indeed  experience  the  Divine  com- 


THROUGH  THE  HOLY  SPIRIT,  135 

fort  of  having  such  a  teacher  to  secure  our  abiding  in 
Christ.  The  Holy  Spirit  was  given  for  this  one  pur- 
pose,— that  the  glorious  redemption  and  life  in  Christ 
might  with  Divine  power  le  conveyed  and  communicated 
to  us.  We  have  the  Holy  Spirit  to  make  the  living 
Christ,  in  all  His  saving  power,  and  in  the  complete- 
ness of  His  victory  over  sin,  ever  present  within  us. 
It  is  this  that  constitutes  Him  the  Comforter:  with 
Him  we  need  never  mourn  an  absent  Christ.  Let  us 
therefore  as  often  as  we  read,  or  meditate,  or  pray  in 
connection  with  this  abiding  in  Christ,  reckon  upon 
it  as  a  settled  thing  that  we  have  the  Spirit  of  God 
Himself  within  us,  teaching,  and  guiding,  and  work- 
ing. Let  us  rejoice  in  the  confidence  that  we  must 
succeed  in  our  desires,  because  the  Holy  Spirit  is 
working  all  the  while  with  secret  but  Divine  power 
in  the  soul  that  does  not  hinder  Him  by  its  unbelief. 


136  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


EIGHTEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   m   CHEIST 

IN  STILLNESS  OF  SOUL. 

'In  returning  and  rest  shall  ye  be  saved;  in  quietness 
and  confidence  shall  be  your  strength. ' — Isa.  xxx.  15. 

'Be  silent  to  the  Lord,  and  wait  patiently  for  Him.' — 
Ps.  Ixxvii.  7  (marg.). 

'Truly  my  soul  is  silent  unto  God. '— Ps.  Ix.  1  (marg,). 

THEEE  is  a  view  of  the  Christian  life  that  regards 
it  as  a  sort  of  partnership,  in  which  God  and 
man  have  each  to  do  their  part.  It  admits  that  it  is 
but  little  that  man  can  do,  and  that  little  defiled  with 
sin;  still  he  must  do  his  utmost, — then  only  can  he 
expect  God  to  do  His  part.  To  those  who  think  thus, 
it  is  extremely  difficult  to  understand  what  Scripture 
means  when  it  speaks  of  our  being  still  and  doing 
nothing,  of  our  resting  and  waiting  to  see  the  salva- 
tion of  God.  It  appears  to  them  a  perfect  contradic- 
tion, when  we  speak  of  this  quietness  and  ceasing 
from  all  effort  as  the  secret  of  the  highest  activity  of 
man  and  all  his  powers.  And  yet  this  is  just  what 
Scripture  does  teach.  The  explanation  of  the  appar- 
ent mystery  is  to  be  found  in  this,  that  when  God 
and  man  are  spoken  of  as  working  together,  there  is 


IN  STILLNESS  OF  SOUL,  137 

nothing  of  the  idea  of  a  partnership  between  two 
partners  who  each  contribute  their  share  to  a  work. 
The  relation  is  a  very  difEerent  one.  The  true  idea 
is  that  of   co-operation   founded   on   subordination. 

As  Jesus  was  entirely  dependent  on  the  Father  for 
all  His  words  and  all  His  works,  so  the  believer  can 
do  nothing  of  himself.  What  he  can  do  of  himself  is 
altogether  sinful.  He  must  therefore  cease  entirely 
from  his  own  doing,  and  tvait  for  the  working  of  God 
in  him.  As  he  ceases  from  self-efEort,  faith  assures 
him  that  God  does  what  He  has  undertaken,  and 
works  in  him.  And  what  God  does  is  to  renew,  to 
sanctify,  and  waken  all  his  energies  to  their  highest 
power.  So  that  just  in  proportion  as  he  yields  him- 
self a  truly  passive  instrument  in  the  hand  of  God, 
will  he  be  wielded  of  God  as  the  active  instrument 
of  His  almighty  power.  The  soul  in  which  the  won- 
drous combination  of  perfect  passivity  with  the  high- 
est activity  is  most  completely  realized,  has  the  deep- 
est experience  of  what  the  Christian  life  is. 

Among  the  lessons  to  be  learnt  of  those  who  are 
studying  the  blessed  art  of  abiding  in  Christ,  there 
is  none  more  needful  and  more  profitable  than  this 
one  of  stillness  of  soul.  In  it  alone  can  we  cultivate 
that  teachableness  of  spirit  to  which  the  Lord  will 
reveal  His  secrets, — that  meekness  to  which  He  shows 
His  ways.  It  is  the  spirit  exhibited  so  beautifully  in 
all  the  three  Marys:     In  her  whose  only  answer  to 


138  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

the  most  wonderful  revelation  ever  made  to  human 
being  was,  'Behold  the  handmaid  of  the  Lord;  be  it 
unto  me  according  to  Thy  word;'  and  of  whom,  as 
mysteries  multiplied  around  her,  it  is  written:  'Mary 
kept  all  these  things  and  pondered  them  in  her  heart. ' 
And  in  her  who  'sat  at  Jesus'  feet,  and  heard  His 
word,'  and  who  showed,  in  the  anointing  Him  for 
His  burial,  how  she  had  entered  more  deeply  into  the 
mystery  of  His  death  than  even  the  beloved  disciple. 
And  in  her,  too,  who  sought  her  Lord  in  the  house 
of  the  Pharisee,  with  tears  that  spake  more  than 
words.  It  is  a  soul  silent  unto  God  that  is  the  best 
preparation  for  knowing  Jesus,  and  for  holding  fast 
the  blessings  He  bestows.  It  is  when  the  soul  is 
hushed  in  silent  awe  and  worship  before  the  Holy 
Presence  that  reveals  itself  within,  that  the  still  small 
voice  of  the  blessed  Spirit  will  be  heard. 

Therefore,  beloved  Christian,  as  often  as  thou 
seekest  to  understand  better  the  blessed  mystery  of 
abiding  in  Christ,  let  this  be  thy  first  thought  {P$. 
Ixii,  5^  marg,):  'My  soul,  only  he  silent  unto  God; 
for  my  expectation  is  from  Him.'  Dost  thou  in  very 
deed  hof)e  to  realize  the  wondrous  union  with  the 
Heavenly  Vine?  Know  that  flesh  and  blood  cannot 
reveal  it  unto  thee,  but  only  the  Father  in  heaven. 
'Cease  from  thine  own  wisdom.'  Thou  hast  but  to 
bow  in  the  confession  of  thine  own  ignorance  and  im- 
potence; the  Father  will  delight  to  give  thee  the 


IN  STILLNESS  OF  SOUL.  139 

teaching  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  If  but  thine  ear  be 
open,  and  thy  thoughts  brought  into  subjection,  and 
thine  heart  prepared  in  silence  to  wait  upon  God 5 
and  to  hear  what  He  speaks,  He  will  reveal  to  thee 
His  secrets.  And  one  of  the  first  secrets  will  be  the 
deeper  insight  into  the  truth,  that  as  thou  sinkest 
low  before  Him  in  nothingness  and  helplessness,  in 
a  silence  and  a  stillness  of  soul  that  seeks  to  catch 
the  faintest  whisper  of  His  love,  teachings  will  come 
to  thee  which  thou  never  hadst  heard  before  for  the 
rush  and  noise  of  thine  own  thoughts  and  efforts. 
Thou  shalt  learn  how  thy  great  work  is  to  listen,  and 
hear,  and  believe  what  He  promises;  to  watch  and 
wait  and  see  what  He  does;  and  then,  in  faith,  and 
worship,  and  obedience,  to  yield  thyself  to  His  work- 
ing who  worketh  in  thee  mightily. 

One  would  think  that  no  message  could  be  more 
beautiful  or  welcome  than  this,  that  we  may  rest  and 
be  quiet,  and  that  our  God  will  work  for  us  and  in 
us.  And  yet  how  far  this  is  from  being  the  case! 
And  how  slow  many  are  to  learn  that  quietness  is 
blessedness,  that  quietness  is  strength,  that  quietness 
is  the  source  of  the  highest  activity, — the  secret  of  all 
true  abiding  in  Christ!  Let  us  try  to  learn  it,  and 
to  watch  against  whatever  interferes  with  it.  The 
dangers  that  threaten  the  soul's  rest  are  not  a  few. 

There  is  the  dissipation  of  soul  which  comes  from 
entering  needlessly  and  too  deeply  into  the  interests 


140  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

of  this  world.  Every  one  of  us  has  his  Divine  calling, 
and  within  the  circle  pointed  out  by  God  Himself 
interest  in  our  work  and  its  surroundings  is  a  duty. 
But  even  here  the  Christian  needs  to  exercise  watch- 
fulness and  sobriety.  And  still  more  do  we  need  a 
holy  temperance  in  regard  to  things  not  absolutely 
imposed  upon  us  by  God.  If  abiding  in  Christ  really 
be  our  first  aim,  let  us  beware  of  all  needless  excite- 
ment. Let  us  watch  even  in  lawful  and  necessary 
things  against  the  wondrous  power  these  have  to 
keep  the  soul  so  occupied,  that  there  remains  but 
little  power  or  zest  for  fellowship  with  God.  Then 
there  is  the  restlessness  and  worry  that  come  of  care 
and  anxiety  about  earthly  things;  these  eat  away  the 
life  of  trust,  and  keep  the  soul  like  a  troubled  sea. 
There  the  gentle  whispers  of  the  Holy  Comforter  can- 
not be  heard. 

No  less  hurtful  is  the  spirit  of  fear  and  distrust  in 
spiritual  things;  with  its  apprehensions  and  its 
efEorts,  it  never  comes  really  to  hear  what  God  has  to 
say.  Above  all,  there  is  the  unrest  that  comes  of 
seeking  in  our  own  way  and  in  our  own  strength  the 
spiritual  blessing  which  comes  alone  from  above.  Tlie 
heart  occupied  with  its  oion  plans  and  efforts  for  doing 
God^s  will,  and  seeding  the  Messing  of  abiding  in 
Jesus,  must  fail  continually.  God's  work  is  hindered 
by  our  interference.  He  can  do  His  work  perfectly 
only  when  the  soul  ceases  from  its  work.     He  will  do 


IN  STILLNESS  OF  SOUL.  141- 

His  work  mightily  in  the  soul  that  honours  Him  by 
expecting  Him  to  work  both  to  Avill  and  to  do. 

And,  last  of  all,  even  when  the  soul  seeks  truly  to 
enter  the  way  of  faith,  there  is  the  impatience  of  the 
flesh,  which  forms  its  judgment  of  the  life  and  prog- 
ress of  the  soul  not  after  the  Divine  but  the  human 
standard. 

In  dealing  with  all  this,  and  so  much  more,  blessed 
the  man  who  learns  the  lessons  of  stillness,  and  fully 
accepts  God's  word :  *In  quietness  and  confidence  shall 
be  your  strength.'  Each  time  he  listens  to  the  word 
of  the  Father,  or  asks  the  Father  to  listen  to  his 
words,  he  dares  not  begin  his  Bible  reading  or  prayer 
without  first  pausing  and  waiting,  until  the  soul  be 
hushed  in  the  presence  of  the  Eternal  Majesty.  Under 
a  sense  of  the  Divine  nearness,  the  soul,  feeling  how 
self  is  always  ready  to  assert  itself,  and  intrude  even 
into  the  holiest  of  all  with  its  thoughts  and  efforts, 
yields  itself  in  a  quiet  act  of  self-surrender  to  the 
teaching  and  working  of  the  Divine  Spirit.  It  is 
still  and  waits  in  holy  silence,  until  all  is  calm  and 
ready  to  receive  the  revelation  of  the  Divine  will  and 
presence.  Its  reading  and  prayer  then  indeed  become 
a  waiting  on  God  with  ear  and  heart  opened  and 
purged  to  receive  fully  only  what  He  says. 

'Abide  in  Christ!'  Let  no  one  think  that  he  can 
do  this  if  he  has  not  daily  his  quiet  time,  his  seasons 
of  meditation  and  waiting  on  God.     In  these  a  habit 


142  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

of  soul  must  be  cultivated,  in  which  the  believer  goes 
out  into  the  world  and  its  distractions,  the  peace  of 
God,  that  passe th  all  understanding,  keeping  the 
heart  and  mind.  It  is  in  such  a  calm  and  restful 
soul  that  the  life  of  faith  can  strike  deep  root,  that 
the  Holy  Spirit  can  give  His  blessed  teaching,  that 
the  Holy  Father  can  accomplish  His  glorious  work. 
May  each  one  of  us  learn  every  day  to  say,  ^  Truly  my 
soul  is  silent  unto  God.'  And  may  every  feeling  of 
the  difficulty  of  attaining  this  only  lead  us  simply  to 
look  and  trust  to  Him  whose  presence  makes  even  the 
storm  a  calm.  Cultivate  the  quietness  as  a  means  to 
the  abiding  in  Christ;  expect  the  ever  deepening 
quietness  and  calm  of  heaven  in  the  soul  as  the  fruit 
of  abiding  in  Him. 


IN  AFFLICTION  AND  TRIAL.  143 


NINETEENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHRIST 

IN  AFFLICTION  AND  TRIAL. 

*  Every  branch  that  beareth  fruit,  He  purgeth  it,  that  it 
may  bring  forth  more  fruit. ' — John  xv.  2. 

IN  the  whole  plant  world  there  is  not  a  tree  to  be 
found  so  specially  suited  to  be  the  image  of  man 
in  his  relation  to  God,  as  the  vine.  There  is  none 
of  which  the  fruit  and  its  juice  are  so  full  of  spirit,  so 
quickening  and  stimulating.  But  there  is  also  none 
of  which  the  natural  tendency  is  so  entirely  evil, — 
none  where  the  growth  is  so  ready  to  run  into  wood 
that  is  utterly  worthless  except  for  the  fire.  Of  all 
plants,  not  one  needs  the  pruning  knife  so  unspar- 
ingly and  so  unceasingly.  None  is  so  dependent  on 
cultivation  and  training,  but  with  this  none  yields  a 
richer  reward  to  the  husbandman.  In  His  wonderful 
parable,  the  Saviour,  with  a  single  word,  refers  to 
this  need  of  pruning  in  the  vine,  and  the  blessing  it 
brings.  But  from  that  single  word  what  streams  of 
light  pour  in  upon  this  dark  world,  so  full  of  suffering 
and  of  sorrow  to  believers !  what  treasures  of  teaching 
and  comfort  to  the  bleeding  branch  in  its  hour  of 


144  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

trial :  'Every  branch  that  beareth  fruit.  He  piirgetJi  it^ 
that  it  may  bring  forth  more  fruit.'  And  so  He  has 
prepared  His  people,  who  are  so  ready  when  trial 
comes  to  be  shaken  in  their  confidence,  and  to  be 
moved  from  their  abiding  in  Christ,  to  hear  in  each 
affliction  the  voice  of  a  messenger  that  comes  to  call 
them  to  abide  still  more  closely.  Yes,  believer,  most 
specially  in  times  of  trial,  abide  in  Christ. 

Abide  in  Christ!  This  is  indeed  the  Father'' s  object 
in  sending  the  trial.  In  the  storm  the  tree  strikes 
deeper  roots  in  the  soil;  in  the  hurricane  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  house  abide  within,  and  rejoice  in  its 
shelter.  So  by  suffering  the  Father  would  lead  us  to 
enter  more  deeply  into  the  love  of  Christ.  Our 
hearts  are  continually  prone  to  wander  from  Him; 
prosperity  and  enjoyment  all  too  easily  satisfy  us,  dull 
our  spiritual  perception,  and  unfit  us  for  full  commun- 
ion with  Himself.  It  is  an  unspeakable  mercy  that 
the  Father  comes  with  His  chastisement,  makes  the 
world  round  us  all  dark  and  unattractive,  leads  us  to 
feel  more  deeply  our  sinfulness,  and  for  a  time  lose 
our  joy  in  what  was  becoming  so  dangerous.  He  does 
it  in  the  hope  that,  when  we  have  found  our  rest  in 
Christ  in  time  of  trouble,  we  shall  learn  to  choose 
abiding  in  Him  as  our  o.nly  portion;  and  when  the 
affliction  is  removed,  have  so  grown  more  firmly  into 
Him,  that  in  prosperity  He  still  shall  be  our  only 
joy.     So  much  has  He  set  His  heart  on  this,  that 


IN  AFFLICTION  AND  TRIAL.  145 

though  He  has  indeed  no  pleasure  in  afflicting  us, 
He  will  not  keep  back  even  the  most  painful  chastise- 
ment if  He  can  but  thereby  guide  His  beloved  child 
to  come  home  and  abide  in  the  beloved  Son.  Chris- 
tian! pray  for  grace  to  see  in  every  trouble,  small  or 
great,  the  Father's  finger  pointing  to  Jesus,  and  say- 
ing, Abide  in  Him. 

Abide  in  Christ:  so  wilt  thou  become  partaher  of 
all  the  rich  Uessings  God  designed  for  thee  in  the  afflic- 
tion. The  purposes  of  God's  wisdom  will  become 
clear  to  thee,  thy  assurance  of  the  unchangeable  love 
become  stronger,  and  the  power  of  His  Spirit  fulfil  in 
thee  the  promise:  *He  chasteneth  us  for  our  profit, 
that  we  might  be  partakers  of  His  holiness.'  Abide 
in  Christ:  and  thy  cross  becomes  the  means  of  fellow- 
ship with  His  cross,  and  access  into  its  mysteries, — 
the  mystery  of  the  curse  which  He  bore  for  thee,  of 
the  death  to  sin  in  which  thou  partakest  with  Him, 
of  the  love  in  which,  as  sympathizing  High  Priest, 
He  descended  into  all  thy  sorrows.  Abide  in  Christ: 
growing  conformity  to  thy  blessed  Lord  in  His  suffer- 
ings, deeper  experience  of  the  reality  and  the  tender- 
ness of  His  love  will  be  thine.  Abide  in  Christ:  in 
the  fiery  oven,  one  like  the  Son  of  man  will  be  seen 
as  never  before;  the  purging  away  of  the  dross  and 
the  refining  of  the  gold  will  be  accomplished,  and 
Christ's  own  likeness  reflected  in  thee.  0  abide  in 
Christ:  the  power  of  the  flesh  will  be  mortified,  the 
10 


146  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

impatience  and  self-will  of  the  ill  nature  be  humbled, 
to  make  place  for  the  meekness  and  gentleness  of 
Christ.  A  believer  may  pass  through  much  affliction, 
and  yet  secure  but  little  blessing  from  it  all.  Abiding 
in  Christ  is  the  secret  of  securing  all  that  the  Father 
meant  the  chastisement  to  bring  us. 
A--^'  Abide  in  Christ:  in  Him  thou  shalt  find  sure  and 
■  abundant  consolation.  With  the  afflicted  comfort  is 
often  first,  and  the  profit  of  the  affliction  second. 
The  Father  loves  us  so,  that  with  Him  our  real  and 
abiding  profit  is  His  first  object,  but  He  does  not 
forget  to  comfort  too.  When  He  comforts,  it  is  that 
He  may  turn  the  bleeding  heart  to  Himself  to  receive 
the  blessing  in  fellowship  with  Him ;  when  He  refuses 
comfort,  His  object  is  still  the  same.  It  is  in  mak- 
ing us  partakers  of  His  holiness  that  true  comfort 
comes.  The  Holy  Spirit  is  the  Comforter,  not  only 
because  He  can  suggest  comforting  thoughts  of  God's 
love,  but  far  more,  because  He  makes  us  holy,  and 
brings  us  into  close  union  with  Christ  and  with  God. 
He  teaches  us  to  abide  in  Christ;  and  because  God 
is  found  there,  the  truest  comfort  will  come  there  too. 
In  Christ  the  heart  of  the  Father  is  revealed,  and 
higher  comfort  there  cannot  be  than  to  rest  in  the 
Father's  bosom.  In  Him  the  fulness  of  the  Divine 
love  is  revealed,  combined  with  the  tenderness  of  a 
mother's  compassion,-— and  what  can  comfort  liVe 
this?     In  Him  thou  seest  a  thousand  times   more 


IN  AFFLICTION  AND   TRIAL.  147 

given  thee  than  thou  hast  lost;  seest  how  God  only 
took  from  thee  that  thou  mightest  have  room  to  take 
from  Him  what  is  so  much  better.  Bi  Him  suffering 
is  consecrated,  and  becomes  the  foretaste  of  eternal 
glory;  in  suffering  it  is  that  the  Spirit  of  God  and  of 
glory  rests  on  us.  Believer!  wouldst  thou  have  com- 
fort in  affliction? — Abide  in  Christ. 

Abide  in  Christ:  so  wilt  thou  bear  much  fruit. 
Not  a  vine  is  planted  but  the  owner  thinks  of  the 
fruit,  and  the  fruit  only.  Other  trees  may  be  planted 
for  ornament,  for  the  shade,  for  the  wood, — the  vine 
only  for  the  fruit.  And  of  each  vine  the  husbandman 
is  continually  asking  how  it  can  bring  forth  more 
fruit,  much  fruit.  Believer!  abide  in  Christ  in  times 
of  affliction,  and  thou  shalt  bring  forth  more  fruit. 
The  deeper  experience  of  Christ's  tenderness  and  the 
Father's  love  will  urge  thee  to  live  to  His  glory.  The 
surrender  of  self  and  self-will  in  suffering  will  prepare 
thee  to  sympathize  with  the  misery  of  others,  while 
the  softening  that  comes  of  chastisement  will  fit  thee- 
for  becoming,  as  Jesus  was,  the  servant  of  all.  The 
thought  of  the  Father's  desire  for  fruit  in  the  prun- 
ing will  lead  thee  to  yield  thyself  afresh,  and  more 
than  ever,  to  Him,  and  to  say  that  now  thou  hast  but 
one  object  in  life, — making  known  and  conveying 
His  wonderful  love  to  fellow-men.  Thou  shalt  learn 
the  blessed  art  of  forgetting  self,  and,  even  in  afflic- 
tion, availing  thyself  of  thy  separation  frgm  ordinary 


148  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

life  to  plead  for  the  welfare  of  others.  Dear  Chris- 
tiai],  in  affliction  abide  in  Christ.  When  thou  seest 
it  coming,  meet  it  in  Christ;  when  it  is  come,  feel 
that  thon  art  more  in  Christ  than  in  it,  for  He  is 
nearer  thee  than  affliction  ever  can  be;  when  it  is 
passing,  still  abide  in  Him.  And  let  the  one  thought 
of  the  Saviour,  as  He  speaks  of  the  pruning,  and  the 
one  desire  of  the  Father,  as  He  does  the  pruning,  be 
thine  too:  *Every  branch  that  beareth  fruit,  He 
purgeth,  that  it  may  bring  forth  more  fruit.'* 

So  shall  thy  times  of  affliction  become  thy  times  of 
choicest  blessing, — preparation  for  richest  fruitful- 
ness.  Led  into  closer  fellowship  with  the  Son  of  God, 
and  deeper  experience  of  His  love  and  grace, — estab- 
lished in  the  blessed  confidence  that  He  and  thou  en- 
tirely belong  to  each  other, — more  completely  satisfied 
with  Him  and  more  wholly  given  up  to  Him  than 
ever  before, — ^with  thine  own  will  crucified  afresh, 
and  the  heart  brought  into  deeper  harmony  with 
God's  will, — thou  shalt  be  a  vessel  cleansed,  meet  for 
the  Master's  use,  prepared  for  every  good  work. 
True  believer!  0  try  and  learn  the  blessed  truth, 
that  in  affliction  thy  first,  thy  only,  thy  blessed  call- 
ing is  to  abide  in  Christ.  Be  much  with  Him  alone. 
Beware  of  the  comfort  and  the  distractions  that 
friends  so  often  bring.  Let  Jesus  Christ  Himself  be 
thy  chief  companion  and  comforter.  Delight  thyself 
in  the  assurance  that   closer   union  with  Him,  and 


IN  AFFLICTION  AND  TRIAL,  149 

more  abundant  fruit  through  Him,  are  sure  to  be 
the  results  of  trial,  because  it  is  the  Husbandman 
Himself  who  is  pruning,  and  will  ensure  the  fulfil- 
ment of  the  desire  of  the  soul  that  yields  itself 
lovingly  to  His  work. 


150  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TWENTIETH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN  CHEIST 

THAT  YOU  MAY  BEAR  MUCH  FRUIT. 

'He  that  abideth  in  me,  and  I  in  him,  the  samebringeth 
forth  inuch  fruit.  Herein  is  my  Father  glorified,  that  ye 
bear  much  fruit. ' — John  xv.  5,  8. 

WE  all  know  what  fruit  is.  The  produce  of  the 
branch,  by  which  men  are  refreshed  and  nour- 
ished. The  fruit  is  not  for  the  branch,  but  for  those 
who  come  to  carry  it  away.  As  soon  as  the  fruit  is 
ripe,  the  branch  gives  it  off,  to  commence  afresh  its 
work  of  beneficence,  and  anew  prepare  its  fruit  for 
another  season.  A  fruit-bearing  tree  lives  not  for 
itself,  but  wholly  for  those  to  whom  its  fruit  brings 
refreshment  and  life.  And  so  the  branch  exists  only 
and  entirely  for  the  sake  of  the  fruit.  To  make  glad 
the  heart  of  the  hnsbandman  is  its  object,  its  safety, 
and  its  glory. 

Beautiful  image  of  the  believer  abiding  in  Christ! 
He  not^only  grows  in  strength,  the  union  with  the 
Vine  becoming  ever  surer  and  firmer,  he  also  bears 
fruit,  yea,  much  fruit.  He  has  the  power  to  offer 
that  to  others  of  which  they  can  eat  and  live.  Amid 
all  who  surround  him  he  becomes  like  a  tree  of  life. 


THAT  YOU  MAY  BEAR  MUCH  FRUIT.       151 

of  which  they  can  taste  and  be  refreshed.  He  is  in 
his  circle  a  centre  of  life  and  of  blessing,  and  that 
simply  because  he  abides  in  Christ,  and  receives  from 
Him  the  Spirit  and  the  life  of  which  he  can  impart 
to  others.  Learn  thus,  if  thou  wouldest  bless  others, 
to  abide  in  Christ,  and  that  if  thou  dost  abide,  thou 
shalt  surely  bless.  As  surely  as  the  branch  abiding 
in  a  fruitful  vine  bears  fruit,  so  surely,  yea,  much 
more  surely^  will  a  soul  abiding  in  Christ  with  His 
fulness  of  blessing  be  made  a  blessing. 

The  reason  of  this  is  easily  understood.  If  Christ, 
the  heavenly  Vine,  has  taken  the  believer  as  a  branch, 
then  He  has  pledged  Himself,  in  the  very  nature  of 
things,  to  supply  the  sap  and  spirit  and  nourishment 
to  make  it  bring  forth  fruit.  'From  Me  is  thy  fruit 
found:'  these  words  derive  new  meaning  from  our 
parable.  The  soul  need  but  have  one  care, — to  abide 
closely,  fully,  wholly.  He  will  give  the  fruit.  He 
works  all  that  is  needed  to  make  the  believer  a  bless- 
ing. 

Abiding  in  Him,  you  receive  of  Him  His  spirit  of 
love  and  compassion  toivard  sinners,  making  you  desir- 
ous to  seek  their  good.  By  nature  the  heart  is  full 
of  selfishness.  Even  in  the  believer,  his  own  salva- 
tion and  happiness  are  often  too  much  his  only  object. 
But  abiding  in  Jesus,  you  come  into  contact  with 
His  infinite  love;  its  fire  begins  to  burn  within  your 
heart;   you  see  the  beauty  of  love;   you  learn  to  look 


152  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

» 

upon  loving  and  serving  and  saving  your  fellow-men 
as  the  highest  privilege  a  disciple  of  Jesus  can  have. 
Abiding  in  Christ,  your  heart  learns  to  feel  the 
wretchedness  of  the  sinner  still  in  darkness,  and  the 
fearfulness  of  the  dishonour  done  to  your  God.  With 
Christ  you  begin  to  bear  the  burden  of  souls,  the 
burden  of  sins  not  your  own.  As  you  are  more 
closely  united  to  Him,  somewhat  of  that  passion  for 
souls  which  urged  Him  to  Calvary  begins  to  breathe 
within  you,  and  you  are  ready  to  follow  His  footsteps, 
to  forsake  the  heaven  of  your  own  happiness,  and  de- 
vote your  life  to  win  the  souls  Christ  has  taught  you 
to  love.  The  very  spirit  of  the  Vine  is  love;  the 
spirit  of  love  streams  into  the  branch  that  abides  in 
Him. 

The  desire  to  be  a  blessing  is  but  the  beginning. 
As  you  undertake  to  work,  you  speedily  become  con- 
scious of  your  own  weakness  and  the  difficulties  in 
your  way.  Souls  are  not  saved  at  your  bidding. 
You  are  ready  to  be  discouraged,  and  to  relax  your 
effort.  But  abiding  in  Christ,  you  receive  netv  cour- 
age and  strength  for  the  tvorlc.  Believing  what  Christ 
teaches,  that  it  is  He  who  through  you  will  give  His 
blessing  to  the  world,  you  understand  that  you  are 
but  the  feeble  instrument  through  which  the  hidden 
power  of  Christ  does  its  work,  that  His  strength  may 
be  perfected  and  made  glorious  in  your  weakness. 
It  is  a  great  step  when  the  believer  fully  consents  to 


THAT  YOU  MAY  BEAR  MUCH  FRUIT       153 

his  own  weakness,  and  the  abiding  consciousness  of 
it,  and  so  works  faithfully  on,  fully  assured  that  his 
Lord  is  icorhing  through  him.  He  rejoices  that  the 
excellence  of  the  power  is  of  God,  and  not  of  us. 
Eealizing  his  oneness  with  his  Lord,  he  considers  no 
longer  his  own  weakness,  but  counts  on  the  power  of 
Him  of  whose  hidden  working  within  he  is  assured. 
It  is  this  secret  assurance  that  gives  a  brightness  to 
his  look,  and  a  gentle  firmness  to  his  tone,  and  a  per- 
severance to  all  his  efforts,  which  of  themselves  are 
great  means  of  influencing  those  he  is  seeking  to  win. 
He  goes  forth  in  the  spirit  of  one  to  whom  victory  is 
assured ;  for  this  is  the  victory  that  overcometh,  even 
our  faith.  He  no  longer  counts  it  humility  to  say 
that  God  cannot  bless  his  unworthy  efforts.  He 
claims  and  expects  a  blessing,  because  it  is  not  he, 
but  Christ  in  him,  that  worketh.  The  great  secret 
of  abiding  in  Christ  is  the  deep  conviction  that  we 
are  nothing,  and  He  is  everything.  As  this  is  learnt, 
it  no  longer  seems  strange  to  believe  that  our  weak- 
ness need  be  no  hindrance  to  His  saving  power.  The 
believer  who  yields  wholly  up  to  Christ  for  service  in 
the  spirit  of  a  simple,  childlike  trust,  will  assuredly 
bring  forth  much  fruit.  He  will  not  fear  even  to 
claim  his  share  in  the  wonderful  promise:  'He  that 
believeth  on  me,  the  works  that  I  do  shall  he  do  also; 
and  greater  ivories  than  these  shall  he  do,  because  I  go 
to  the  Father.*     He  no  longer  thinks  that  He  cannot 


154  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

have  a  blessing,  and  must  be  kept  unfruitful,  that  he 
may  be  kept  humble.  He  sees  that  the  most  heavily 
laden  branches  bow  the  lowest  down.  Abiding  in 
Christ,  he  has  yielded  assent  to  the  blessed  agreement 
between  the  Vine  and  the  branches,  that  of  the  fruit 
all  the  glory  shall  be  to  the  Husbandman,  the  blessed 
Father. 

Let  us  learn  two  lessons.  If  we  are  abiding  in 
Jesus,  let  us  begin  to  work.  Let  us  first  seek  to  in- 
fluence those  around  us  in  daily  life.  Let  us  accept 
distinctly  and  joyfully  our  holy  calling,  that  we  are 
even  now  to  live  as  the  servants  of  the  love  of  Jesus 
to  our  fellow-men.  Our  daily  life  must  have  for  its 
object  the  making  of  an  impression  favourable  to 
Jesus.  When  you  look  at  the  branch,  you  see  at  once 
the  likeness  to  the  Vine.  We  must  live  so  that 
somewhat  of  the  holiness  and  the  gentleness  of  Jesus 
^nay  shine  out  in  us.  We  must  live  to  represent 
Him.  As  was  the  case  with  Him  when  on  earth,  the 
life  must  prepare  the  way  for  the  teaching.  What 
the  Church  and  the  world  both  need  is  this:  men  and 
women  full  of  the  Holy  Ghost  and  of  love,  who,  as 
the  living  embodiments  of  the  grace  and  power  of 
Christ,  witness  for  Him,  and  for  His  power  on  behalf 
of  those  who  believe  in  Him.  Living  so,  with  our 
hearts  longing  to  have  Jesus  glorified  in  the  souls 
He  is  seeking  after,  let  us  offer  ourselves  to  Him  for 
direct   work.      There   is   work    in   our   own   home. 


THAT  YOU  MAY  BEAR  MUCH  FRUIT,       155 

There  is  work  among  the  sick,  the  poor,  and  the 
outcast.  There  is  work  in  a  hundred  different  paths 
which  the  Spirit  of  Christ  opens  up  through  those 
who  allow  themselves  to  be  led  by  Him.  There  is 
work  perhaps  for  us  in  ways  that  have  not  been  opened 
up  by  others.  Abiding  in  Christ,  let  us  work.  Let 
us  work,  not  like  those  who  are  content  if  they  now 
follow  the  fashion,  and  take  some  share  in  religious 
work.  No ;  let  us  work  as  those  who  are  growing  liker 
to  Christ,  because  they  are  abiding  in  Him,  and  who, 
like  Him,  count  the  work  of  winning  souls  to  the 
Father  the  very  joy  and  glory  of  heaven  begun  on 
earth. 

And  the  second  lesson  is:  If  you  work,  abide  in 
Christ.  This  is  one  of  the  blessings  of  work  if  done 
in  the  right  spirit, — it  will  deepen  your  union  with 
your  blessed  Lord.  It  will  discover  your  weakness, 
and  throw  you  back  on  His  strength.  It  will  stir 
you  to  much  prayer;  and  in  prayer  for  others  is  the 
time  when  the  soul,  forgetful  of  itself,  unconsciously 
grows  deeper  into  Christ.  It  will  make  clearer  to 
you  the  true  nature  of  branch-life;  its  absolute  de- 
pendence, and  at  the  same  time  its  glorious  suffi- 
ciency,— independent  of  all  else,  because  dependent  on 
Jesus.  If  you  work,  abide  in  Christ.  There  are 
temptations  and  dangers.  Work  for  Christ  has 
sometimes  drawn  away  from  Christ,  and  taken  the 
place  of  fellowship  with  Him.     Work  can  sometimes 


156  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

give  a  form  of  godliness  without  the  power.  As  you 
work,  abide  in  Christ.  Let  a  living  faith  in  Christ 
working  in  you  be  the  secret  spring  of  all  your  work; 
this. will  inspire  at  once  humility  and  courage.  Let 
the  Holy  Spirit  of  Jesus  dwell  in  you  as  the  Spirit  of 
His  tender  compassion  and  His  Divine  power.  Abide 
in  Christ,  and  offer  every  faculty  of  your  nature 
freely  and  unreservedly  to  Him,  to  sanctify  it  for 
Himself.  If  Jesus  Christ  is  really  to  work  through 
as,  it  needs  an  entire  consecration  of  ourselves  to 
Him,  daily  renewed.  But  we  understand  now,  just 
this  is  abiding  in  Him ;  just  this  it  is  that  constitutes 
our  highest  privilege  and  happiness.  To  be  a  branch 
bearing  much  fruit, — nothing  less,  nothing  more, — 
be  this  our  only  joy. 


so  WILL  YOU  HAVE  POWER  IN  PRAYER.     157 


TWENTY-FIRST  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN   CHEIST 

so  WILL  YOU  HAVE  POWER  IN  PRAYER. 

'If  ye  abide  in  me,  and  my  words  abide  in  you,  ye  shall 
ask  what  ye  will,  and  it  shall  be  done  unto  you. ' — John 

XV.  7. 

PRAYER  is  both  one  of  the  means  and  one  of  the 
fruits  of  union  to  Christ.  As  a  means  it  is  of 
unspeakable  importance.  All  the  actings  of  faith,  all 
the  pleadings  of  desire,  all  the  yearnings  after  a  fuller 
surrender,  all  the  confessions  of  shortcoming  and  of 
sin,  all  the  exercises  in  which  the  soul  gives  up  self 
and  clings  to  Christ,  find  their  utterance  in  prayer. 
In  each  meditation  on  Abiding  in  Christ,  as  some 
new  feature  of  what  Scripture  teaches  concerning 
this  blessed  life  is  apprehended,  the  first  impulse  of 
the  believer  is  at  once  to  look  up  to  the  Father  and 
pour  out  the  heart  into  His,  and  ask  from  Him  the 
full  understanding  and  the  full  possession  of  what  he 
has  been  shown  in  the  Word.  And  it  is  the  believer, 
who  is  not  content  with  this  spontaneous  expression 
of  his  hope,  but  who  takes  time  in  secret  prayer  to 
wait  until  he  has  received  and  laid  hold  of  what  he, 
has  seen,   who  will   really  grow   strong   in   Christ. 


158  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

However  feeble  the  soul's  first  abiding,  its  prayer  will 
be  heard,  and  it  will  find  prayer  one  of  the  great 
means  of  abiding  more  abundantly. 

But  it  is  not  so  much  as  a  means,  but  as  a  fruit  of 
the  abiding,  that  the  Saviour  mentions  it  in  the  Par- 
able of  the  Vine.  He  does  not  think  so  much  of 
prayer — as  we,  alas!  too  exclusively  do — as  a  means 
of  getting  blessing  for  ourselves,  but  as  one  of  the 
chief  channels  of  influence  by  which,  through  us  as 
fellow-workers  with  God,  the  blessings  of  Christ's 
redemption  are  to  be  dispensed  to  the  world.  He 
sets  before  Himself  and  us  the  glory  of  the  Father,  in 
the  extension  of  His  kingdom,  as  the  object  for  which 
we  have  been  made  branches;  and  He  assures  us  that 
if  we  but  abide  in  Him,  we  shall  be  Israels,  having 
power  with  God  and  man.  Ours  shall  be  the  effect- 
ual, fervent  prayer  of  the  righteous  man,  availing 
much,  like  Elijah's  for  ungodly  Israel.  Such  prayer 
will  be  the  fruit  of  our  abiding  in  Him,  and  the 
means  of  bringing  forth  much  fruit. 

To  the  Christian  who  is  not  abiding  wholly  in 
Jesus,  the  difficulties  connected  with  prayer  are  often 
so  great  as  to  rob  him  of  the  comfort  and  the  strength 
it  could  bring.  Under  the  guise  of  humility,  he  asks 
how  one  so  unworthy  could  expect  to  have  influence 
with  the  Holy  One.  He  thinks  of  God's  sovereignty, 
His  perfect  wisdom  and  love,  and  cannot  see  how  his 
prayer  can  really  have  any  distinct  effect.     He  prays, 


so  WILL  YOU  HAVE  POWER  IN  PRAYER.     159 

but  it  is  more  because  he  cannot  rest,  without  prayer, 
than  from  a  loving  faith  that  the  prayer  will  be 
heard.  But  what  a  blessed  release  from  such  ques- 
tions and  perplexities  is  given  to  the  soul  who  is  truly 
abiding  in  Christ!  He  realizes  increasingly  how  it  is 
in  the  real  spiritual  unity  with  Christ  that  we  are 
accepted  and  heard.  The  union  with  the  Son  of  God 
is  a  life  union:  we  are  in  very  deed  one  with  Him, — 
our  prayer  ascends  as  His  prayer.  It  is  because  we 
abide  in  Him  that  we  can  ask  what  we  will,  and  it  is 
given  to  us. 

There  are  many  reasons  why  this  must  be  so.  One 
is,  that  abiding  in  Christ,  and  having  His  words 
abiding  in  us,  teach  us  to  pray  in  accordance  with  the 
ivill  of  God.  With  the  abiding  in  Christ  our  self- 
will  is  kept  down,  the  thoughts  and  wishes  of  nature 
are  brought  into  captivity  to  the  thoughts  and  wishes 
of  Christ;  like-mindedness  to  Christ  grows  upon  us— 
all  our  working  and  willing  become  transformed  into 
harmony  with  His.  There  is  deep  and  oft-renewed 
heart-searching  to  see  whether  the  surrender  has  in- 
deed been  entire ;  fervent  prayer  to  the  heart-searching 
Spirit  that  nothing  may  be  kept  back.  Everything 
is  yielded  to  the  power  of  His  life  in  us,  that  it  may 
exercise  its  sanctifying  influence  even  on  ordinary 
wishes  and  desires.  His  Holy  Spirit  breathes  through 
our  whole  being;  and  without  our  being  conscious 
how,  our  desires,  as  the  breathings  of  the  Divine  life. 


160  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

are  in  conformity  with  the  Divine  will,  and  are  ful- 
filled. Abiding  in  Christ  renews  and  sanctifies  the 
will :  we  ask  what  we  tuilly  and  it  is  given  to  us. 

In  close  connection  with  this  is  the  thought,  that 
the  abiding  in  Christ  teaches  the  believer  in  prayer 
only  toseeh  the  glory  of  God.  In  promising  to  answer 
prayer,  Christ's  one  thought  (see  John  xiv,  IS)  is 
this,  *  that  the  father  may  he  glorified  in  the  So7i. '  In 
His  intercession  on  earth  {John  xvii.)^  this  was  His 
desire  and  plea;  in  His  intercession  in  heaven,  it  is 
still  His  great  object.  As  the  believer  abides  in 
Christ,  the  Saviour  breathes  this  desire  into  him. 
The  thought,  Okly  the  Gloky  of  God,  becomes 
more  and  more  the  keynote  of  the  life  hid  in  Christ. 
At  first  this  subdues,  and  quiets,  and  makes  the  soul 
almost  afraid  to  dare  entertain  a  wish,  lest  it  should 
not  be  to  the  Father's  glory.  But  when  once  its 
supremacy  has  been  accepted,  and  everything  yielded 
to  it,  it  comes  with  mighty  power  to  elevate  and 
enlarge  the  heart,  and  open  it  to  the  vast  field  open 
to  the  glory  of  God.  Abiding  in  Christ,  the  soul 
learns  not  only  to  desire,  but  spiritually  to  discern 
what  will  be  for  God's  glory;  and  one  of  the  first 
conditions  of  acceptable  prayer  is  fulfilled  in  it  when, 
as  the  fruit  of  its  union  with  Christ,  the  whole  mind 
is  brought  into  harmony  with  that  of  the  Son  as  He 
said:  'Father,  glorify  Thy  name.' 

Once  more:    Abiding  in  Christ,  we  can  fully  avail 


so  WILL  YOU  HAVE  POWER  IN  PRAYER.     161 

ourselves  of  the  name  of  Christ.  Asking  in  the  name 
of  another  means  that  that  other  authorized  me  and 
sent  me  to  ask,  and  wants  to  be  considered  as  asking 
himself:  he  wants  the  favour  done  to  him.  Believers 
often  try  to  think  of  the  name  of  Jesus  and  His 
merits,  and  to  argue  themselves  into  the  faith  that 
they  will  be  heard,  while  they  painfully  feel  how  little 
they  have  of  the  faith  of  His  name.  They  are  not 
living  wholly  in  Jesus'  name;  it  is  only  when  they 
begin  to  pray  that  they  want  to  take  up  that  name 
and  use  it.  This  cannot  be.  The  promise,  '  What- 
soever ye  ash  in  my  name^ '  may  not  be  severed  from 
the  command,  'Whatsoever  ye  do,  do  all  in  the  name 
of  the  Lord  Jesus.'  If  the  name  of  Christ  is  to  be 
wholly  at  my  disposal,  so  that  I  may  have  the  full 
command  of  it  for  all  I  will,  it  must  be  because  I  first 
put  myself  wholly  at  His  disposal,  so  that  He  has  free 
and  full  command  of  me.  It  is  the  abiding  in  Christ 
that  gives  the  right  and  power  to  use  His  name  with 
confidence.  To  Christ  the  Father  refuses  nothing. 
Abiding  in  Christ,  I  come  to  the  Father  as  one  with 
Him.  His  righteousness  is  in  me.  His  Spirit  is  in 
me;  the  Father  sees  the  Son  in  me,  and  gives  me  my 
petition.  It  is  not — as  so  many  think — by  a  sort  of 
imputation  that  the  Father  looks  upon  us  as  if  we 
were  in  Christ,  though  we  are  not  in  Him.  No; 
the  Father  wants  to  see  us  living  in  Him :  thus  shall 
our  prayer  really  have  power  to  prevail.  Abiding  in 
11 


162  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Christ  not  only  renews  the  will  to  pray  aright,  but 
secures  the  full  power  of  His  merits  to  us. 

Again:  Abiding  in  Christ  also  works  in  us  the 
faith  that  alone  can  obtain  an  answer.  'According  to 
your  faith  be  it  unto  you :'  this  is  one  of  the  laws  of 
the  kingdom.  'Believe  that  ye  receive,  and  ye  shall 
have.'  This  faith  rests  upon,  and  is  rooted  in  the 
Word;  but  is  something  infinitely  higher  than  the 
mere  logical  conclusion:  God  has  promised,  I  shall 
obtain.  No;  faith,  as  a  spiritual  act,  depends  upon 
the  words  abiding  in  us  as  living  powers,  and  so  upon 
the  state  of  the  whole  inner  life.  Without  fasting 
and  prayer  {Marie  ix.  29)^  without  humility  and  a 
spiritual  mind  {John  v.  H)^  without  a  whole-hearted 
obedience  {1  John  Hi.  22)^  there  cannot  be  this  living 
faith.  But  as  the  soul  abides  in  Christ,  and  grows 
into  the  consciousness  of  its  union  with  Him,  and  sees 
how  entirely  it  is  He  who  makes  it  and  its  petition 
acceptable,  it  dares  to  claim  an  answer  because  it 
knows  itself  one  with  Him.  It  was  by  faith  it  learnt 
to  abide  in  Him;  as  the  fruit  of  that  faith,  it  rises 
to  a  larger  faith  in  all  that  God  has  promised  to  be 
and  to  do.  It  learns  to  breathe  its  prayers  in  the 
deep,  quiet,  confident  assurance:  We  know  we  have 
the  petition  we  ask  of  Him. 

Abiding  in  Christ,  further,  keeps  us  in  the  place 
where  the  answer  can  he  lestoived.  Some  believers 
pray  earnestly  for  blessing;  but  when  God  comes  and 


so  WILL  YOU  HAVE  POWER  IN  PRAYER.     163 

looks  for  them  to  bless  them,  they  are  not  to  be  found. 
They  never  thought  that  the  blessing  must  not  only 
be  asked,  but  waited  for,  and  received  in  prayer. 
Abiding  in  Christ  is  the  place  for  receiving  answers. 
Out  of  Him  the  answer  could  be  dangerous, — we 
should  consume  it  on  our  lusts  {Jas,  iv,  S).  Many  of 
the  richest  answers — say  for  spiritual  grace,  or  for 
power  to  work  and  to  bless — can  only  come  in  the 
shape  of  a  larger  experience  of  what  God  makes 
Christ  to  us.  The  fulness  is  IK  Him:  abiding  in 
Him  is  the  condition  of  power  in  prayer,  because  the 
answer  is  treasured  up  and  bestowed  in  Him. 

Believer,  abide  in  Christ,  for  there  is  the  school  of 
prayer, — mighty,  effectual,  answer-bringing  prayer. 
Abide  in  Him,  and  thou  shalt  learn  what  to  so  many 
is  a  mystery:  Tliat  the  secret  of  the  prayer  of  faith  is 
the  life  offaithy — the  life  that  abides  in  Christ  alone. 


164  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TWENTY-SECOND  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHEIST 

AND  m  HIS  LOVE. 

'As  the  Father  hath  loved  me,  so  have  I  loved  you  :  abide 
ye  in  my  love. ' — John  xv.  9.* 

BLESSED  Lord,  enlighten  onr  eyes  to  see  aright 
the  glory  of  this  wondrous  word.  Open  to  our 
meditation  the  secret  chamber  of  Thy  love,  that  our 
souls  may  enter  in,  and  find  there  their  everlasting 
dwelling-place.  How  else  shall  we  know  aught  of  a 
love  that  passeth  knowledge? 

Before  the  Saviour  speaks  the  word  that  invites  us 
to  abide  in  His  love,  He  first  tells  us  what  that  love 
is.  What  He  says  of  it  must  give  force  to  His  invita- 
tion, and  make  the  thought  of  not  accepting  it  an 
impossibility:  'As  the  Father  hath  loved  me,  so  I 
have  loved  you!' 

'As  the  Father  hath  loved  me.'  How  shall  we  be 
able  to  form  right  conceptions  of  this  love?     Lord, 

*  It  is  diflScult  to  understand  why  in  our  English  Bible 
one  Greek  v^ord  should  in  the  first  sixteen  verses  of  John 
XV.  have  had  three  different  translations :  abide  in  ver.  4, 
contimie  in  ver.  9,  and  remain  in  vers.  11  and  16.  The  Re- 
vised Version  has  of  course  kept  the  one  word,  abide. 


AND  IN  HIS  LOVE.  165 

teach  us.  God  is  love.  Love  is  His  very  being. 
Love  is  not  an  attribute,  but  the  very  essence  of  His  / 
nature,  the  centre  round  which  all  His  glorious  at- 
tributes gather.  It  was  because  He  was  love  that  He 
was  the  Father,  and  that  there  was  a  Son.  Love 
needs  an  object  to  whom  it  can  give  itself  away,  in 
whom  it  can  lose  itself,  with  whom  it  can  make  itself 
one.  Because  God  is  love,  there  must  be  a  Father 
and  a  Son.  The  love  of  the  Father  to  the  Son  is  that 
Divine  passion  with  which  He  delights  in  the  Son, 
and  speaks,  'My  beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well 
pleased.'  The  Divine  love  is  as  a  burning  fire;  in 
all  its  intensity  and  infinity  it  has  but  one  object  and 
but  one  joy,  and  that  is  the  only-begotten  Son. 
When  we  gather  together  all  the  attributes  of  God,-^" 
His  infinity,  His  perfection.  His  immensity.  His 
majesty,  His  omnipotence,— and  consider  them  but 
as  the  rays  of  the  glory  of  His  love,  we  still  fail  in 
forming  any  conception  of  what  that  love  must  be. 
It  is  a  love  that  passeth  knowledge. 

And  yet  this  love  of  God  to  His  Son  must  serve,  0 
my  soul,  as  the  glass  in  which  thou  art  to  learn  how 
Jesus  loves  thee.  As  one  of  His  redeemed  ones,  thou 
art  His  delight,  and  all  His  desire  is  to  thee,  with  the 
longing  of  a  love  which  is  stronger  than  death,  and 
which  many  waters  cannot  quench.  His  heart  yearns 
after  thee,  seeking  thy  fellowship  and  thy  love. 
Were  it  needed.  He  could  die  again  to  possess  thee.  ^'' 


166  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

As  the  Father  loved  the  Son,  and  could  not  live  with- 
out Him,  could  not  be  God  the  blessed  without  Him, 
— so  Jesus  loves  thee.  His  life  is  bound  up  in  thine; 
thou  art  to  Him  inexpressibly  more  indispensable 
and  precious  than  thou  ever  canst  know.  Thou  art 
one  with  Himself.  *As  the  Father  hath  loved  me, 
so  have  I  loved  you.'     What  a  love! 

It  is  an  eternal  love.  From  before  the  foundation 
of  the  world — God's  Word  teaches  us  this — the  pur- 
pose had  been  formed  that  Christ  should  be  the  Head 
of  His  Church,  that  He  should  have  a  body  in  which 
His  glory  could  be  set  forth.  In  that  eternity  He 
loved  and  longed  for  those  who  had  been  given  Him 
by  the  Father;  and  when  He  came  and  told  His  dis- 
ciples that  He  loved  them,  it  was  indeed  not  with  a 
;  love  of  earth  and  of  time,  but  with  the  love  of  eter- 
i  nity.  And  it  is  with  that  same  infinite  love  that  His 
eye  still  rests  upon  each  of  us  here  seeking  to  abide 
in  Him,  and  in  each  breathing  of  that  love  there  is 
indeed  the  power  of  eternity.  *I  have  loved  thee 
with  an  everlasting  love. ' 

It  is  a  perfect  love.  It  gives  all,  and  holds  nothing 
back.  'The  Father  loveth  the  Son,  and  hath  given 
all  things  into  His  hand.'  And  just  so  Jesus  loves 
His  own:  all  He  has  is  theirs.  When  it  was  needed. 
He  sacrificed  His  throne  and  crown  for  thee:  He  did 
not  count  His  own  life  and  blood  too  dear  to  give  for 
thee.     His  righteousness.  His  Spirit,  His  glory,  even 


AND  IN  HIS  LOVE,  167 

His  throne,  all  are  thine.  This  love  holds  nothing, 
nothing  back,  but,  in  a  manner  which  no  human 
mind  can  fathom,  makes  thee  one  with  itself.  0 
wondrous  love !  to  love  us  even  as  the  Father  loved 
Him,  and  to  offer  us  this  love  as  our  every-day 
dwelling. 

It  is  a  gentle  and  most  tender  love.  As  we  think 
of  the  love  of  the  Father  to  the  Son,  we  see  in  the  , 
Son  everything  so  infinitely  worthy  of  that  love. 
When  we  think  of  Christ's  love  to  us,  there  is  nothing 
but  sin  and  unworthiness  to  meet  the  eye.  And  the 
question  comes.  How  can  that  love  within  the  bosom 
of  the  Divine  life  and  its  perfections  be  compared  to 
the  love  that  rests  on  sinners?  Can  it  indeed  be  the 
same  love?  Blessed  be  God,  we  know  it  is  so.  The 
nature  of  love  is  always  one,  however  different  the-^ 
objects.  Christ  knows  of  no  other  law  of  love  but 
that  with  which  His  Father  loved  Him.  Our 
wretchedness  only  serves  to  call  out  more  distinctly 
the  beauty  of  love,  such  as  could  not  be  seen  even  in 
Heaven.  With  the  tenderest  compassion  He  bows  to 
our  weakness,  with  patience  inconceivable  He  bears 
with  our  slowness,  with  the  gentlest  loving-kindness 
He  meets  our  fears  and  our  follies.  It  is  the  love  of 
the  Father  to  the  Son,  beautified,  glorified,  in  its  / 
condescension,  in  its  exquisite  adaptation  to  our^ 
needs. 

And  it  is  an  unchangeable  love.     'Having  loved 


168  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

His  own  which  were  in  the  world,  He  loved  them  to 
the  end.'  'The  mountains  shall  depart,  and  the  hills 
be  removed,  but  my  kindness  shall  not  depart  from 
thee.'  The  promise  with  which  it  begins  its  work  in 
the  soul  is  this:  'I  shall  not  leave  thee,  until  I  have 
done  that  which  I  have  spoken  to  thee  of.'  And  just 
as  our  wretchedness  was  what  first  drew  it  to  us,  so  the 
sin,  with  which  it  is  so  often  grieved,  and  which  may 
well  cause  us  to  fear  and  doubt,  is  but  a  new  motive 
for  it  to  hold  to  us  all  the  more.  And  why?  We 
can  give  no  reason  but  this:  'As  the  Father  hath 
Igved  me,  so  I  have  loved  you.' 

And  now,  does  not  this  love  suggest  the  7notive,  the 
measure,  and  the  means  of  that  surrender  by  which 
.we  yield  ourselves  wholly  to  abide  in  Him? 

This  love  surely  supplies  a  motive.  Only  look  and 
see  how  this  love  stands  and  pleads  and  prays.  Gaze, 
0  gaze  on  the  Divine  form,  the  eternal  glory,  the 
heavenly  beauty,  the  tenderly  pleading  gentleness  of 
the  crucified  love,  as  it  stretches  out  its  pierced  hands 
and  says,  'Oh,  wilt  thou  not  abide  with  me?  wilt 
thou  not  come  and  abide  in  me?'  It  points  thee 
up  to  the  eternity  of  love  whence  it  came  to  seek  thee. 
It  points  thee  to  the  Cross,  and  all  it  has  borne  to 
prove  the  reality  of  its  affection,  and  to  win  thee  for 
itself.  It  reminds  thee  of  all  it  has  promised  to  do 
for  thee,  if  thou  wilt  but  throw  thyself  unreservedly 
into  its  arms.     It  asks  thee  whether,  so  far  as  thou 


AND  IN  HIS  LOVE,  169 

hast  come  to  dwell  with  it  and  taste  its  blessedness,  it 
hath  not  done  well  by  thee.  And  with  a  Divine  au- 
thority, mingled  with  such  an  inexpressible  tender- 
ness that  one  might  almost  think  he  heard  the  tone 
of  reproach  in  it,  it  says,  'Soul,  as  the  Father  hath 
loved  me,  so  I  have  loved  you:  abide  in  my  love.' 
Surely  there  can  be  but  one  answer  to  such  plead- 
ing: Lord  Jesus  Christ!  here  I  am.  Henceforth 
Thy  love  shall  be  the  only  home  of  my  soul :  in  Thy 
love  alone  will  I  abide. 

That  love  is  not  only  the  motive,  but  also  the 
measure,  of  our  surrender  to  abide  in  it.  Love  gives 
all,  but  asks  all.  It  does  so,  not  because  it  grudges 
us  aught,  but  because  without  this  it  cannot  get  pos- 
session of  us  to  fill  us  with  itself.  In  the  love  of  the 
Father  and  the  Son,  it  was  so.  In  the  love  of  Jesus 
to  us,  it  was  so.  In  our  entering  into  His  love  to 
abide  there,  it  must  be  so  too;  our  surrender  to  it 
must  have  no  other  measure  than  its  surrender  to  us. 
0  that  we  understood  how  the  love  that  calls  us  has 
infinite  riches  and  fulness  of  joy  for  us,  and  that  what 
we  give  up  for  its  sake  will  be  rewarded  a  hundred- 
fold in  this  life!  Or  rather,  would  that  we  under- 
stood that  it  is  a  love  with  a  height  and  a  depth 
and  a  length  and  a  breadth  that  passes  knowledge! 
How  all  thought  of  sacrifice  or  surrender  would  pass 
away,  and  our  souls  be  filled  with  ivonder  at  the 
unspeakable   privilege   of  being   loved  with   such  a 


170  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

love,  of  being  allowed  to  come  and  abide  in  it  for 
ever. 

And  if  doubt  again  suggest  the  question :  But  is  it 
possible,  can  I  always  abide  in  His  love?  listen  how 
that  love  itself  supplies  the  only  means  for  the  abid- 
ing in  Him :  It  is  faith  in  that  love  which  will  en- 
able us  to  abide  in  it.  If  this  love  be  indeed  so 
Divine,  such  an  intense  and  burning  passion,  then 
surely  I  can  depend  on  it  to  keep  me  and  to  hold  me 
fast.  Then  surely  all  myunworthiness  and  feebleness 
can  be  no  hindrance.  If  this  love  be  indeed  so 
Divine,  with  infinite  power  at  its  command,  I  surely 
have  a  right  to  trust  that  it  is  stronger  than  my 
weakness;  and  that  with  its  almighty  arm  it  will  clasp 
me  to  its  bosom,  and  suffer  me  to  go  out  no  more.  I 
see  how  this  is  the  one  thing  my  God  requires  of  me. 
Treating  me  as  a  reasonable  being  endowed  with  the 
wondrous  power  of  willing  and  choosing,  He  cannot 
force  all  this  blessedness  on  me,  but  waits  till  I  give 
the  willing  consent  of  the  heart.  And  the  token  of 
this  consent  He  has  in  His  great  kindness  ordered 
faith  to  be, — that  faith  by  which  utter  sinfulness  casts 
itself  into  the  arms  of  love  to  be  saved,  and  utter 
weakness  to  be  kept  and  made  strong.  0  Infinite 
Love!  Love  with  which  the  Father  loved  the  Son! 
Love  with  which  the  Son  loves  us!  I  can  trust  thee, 
I  do  trust  thee.     0  keep  me  abiding  in  Thyself. 


AS  CHRIST  IN  THE  FATHER,  171 


TWENTY-THIRD  DAY, 


ABIDE   m   CHRIST 

AS  CHRIST  IN  THE  FATHER. 

*As  the  Father  hath  loved  me,  so  I  have  loved  you. 
Abide  in  my  love,  even  as  I  abide  in  my  Father's  love. ' — 
John  xv.  9,  10. 

CHRIST  had  taught  His  disciples  that  to  abide  in 
Him  was  to  abide  in  His  love.  The  hour  of  His 
suffering  is  nigh,  and  He  cannot  speak  much  more  to 
them.  They  would  doubtless  have  many  questions 
to  ask  as  to  what  that  abiding  in  Him  and  His  love 
is.  He  anticipates  and  meets  their  wishes,  and  gives 
them  His  owk  life  as  the  best  exposition  of  His 
command.  As  example  and  rule  for  their  abiding  in 
His  love,  they  have  to  look  to  His  abiding  in  the 
Father's  love.  In  the  light  of  His  union  with  the 
Father,  their  union  with  Him  will  become  clear. 
His  life  in  the  Father  is  the  law  of  their  life  in  Him. 

The  thought  is  so  high  that  we  can  hardly  take  it 
in,  and  is  yet  so  clearly  revealed,  that  we  dare  not 
neglect  it.  Do  we  not  read  in  John  vi.  (ver,  57),  ^As 
I  live  by  the  Father,  even  so  he  that  eateth  me,  he 
shall  live  by  me'?  And  the  Saviour  prays  so  dis- 
tinctly {John  xvii.  22),  Hhat  they  may  be  one  even  as 


172  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

"we  are  one:  I  in  them,  and  Thou  in  me.'  The 
blessed  union  of  Christ  with  the  Father  and  His  life 
in  Him  is  the  only  rule  of  our  thoughts  and  expecta- 
tions in  regard  to  our  living  and  abiding  in  Him. 

Think  first  of  the  origin  of  that  life  of  Christ  in 
the  Father.  They  were  one— one  in  life  and  one  in 
love.  In  this  His  abiding  in  the  Father  had  its  root. 
Though  dwelling  here  on  earth,  He  knew  that  He 
was  One  with  the  Father;  that  the  Father's  life  was 
in  Him,  and  His  love  on  Him.  Without  this  knowl- 
edge, abiding  in  the  Father  and  His  love  would  have 
been  utterly  impossible.  And  it  is  thus  only  that 
thou  canst  abide  in  Christ  and  His  love.  Know  that 
thou  art  one 'with  Him — one  in  the  unity  of  nature. 
By  His  birth  He  became  man,  and  took  thy  nature 
that  He  might  be  one  with  thee.  By  thy  new  birth 
thou  becomest  one  with  Him,  and  art  made  partaker 
of  His  Divine  nature.  The  link  that  binds  thee  to 
Him  is  as  real  and  close  as  bound  Him  to  the  Father 
— the  link  of  a  Divine  life.  Thy  claim  on  Him  is  as 
sure  and  always  availing  as  was  His  on  the  Father. 
Thy  union  with  Him  is  as  close. 

And  as  it  is  the  union  of  a  Divine  life,  it  is  one  of 
an  infinite  love.  In  His  life  of  humiliation  on  earth 
He  tasted  the  blessedness  and  strength  of  knowing 
Himself  the  object  of  an  infinite  love,  and  of  dwell- 
ing in  it  all  the  day;  from  His  own  example  He  in- 
vites thee  to  learn  that  herein  lies  the  secret  of  rest 


AS  CHRIST  IN  THE  FATHER,  173 

and  joy.  Thou  art  one  with  Him :  yield  thyself  now 
to  be  loYed  by  Him ;  let  thine  eyes  and  heart  open  to 
the  love  that  shines  and  presses  in  on  thee  on  every 
side.     Abide  in  His  love. 

Think  then  too  of  the  mode  of  that  abiding  in  the 
Father  and  His  love  which  is  to  be  the  law  of  thy  life. 
*I  kept  my  Father's  commandments  and  abide  in  His 
love.'  His  was  a  life  of  subjection  and  dependence, 
and  yet  most  blessed.  To  our  proud  self-seeking  na^*^, 
ture  the  thought  of  dependence  and  subjection  sug- 
gests the  idea  of  humiliation  and  servitude;  in  the 
life  of  love  which  the  Son  of  God  lived,  and  to  which 
He  invites  us,  they  are  the  secret  of  blessedness. 
The  Son  is  not  afraid  of  losing  aught  by  giving  iTp 
all  to  the  Father,  for  He  knows  that  the  Father  loves 
Him,  and  can  have  no  interest  apart  from  that  of  the 
beloved  Son.  He  knows  that  as  complete  as  is  the 
dependence  on  His  part  is  the  communication  on  the 
part  of  the  Father  of  all  He  possesses.  Hence  when 
He  had  said,  'The  Son  can  do  nothing  of  Himself, 
except  He  see  the  Father  do  it,' He  adds  at  once, 
'Whatsoever  things  the  Father  doeth,  them  also  doeth 
the  Son  likewise:  for  the  Father  loveth  the  Son,  and 
showeth  Him  all  things  that  Himself  doeth.'  The 
believer  who  studies  this  life  of  Christ  as  the  pattern 
and  the  promise  of  what  his  may  be,  learns  to  under- 
stand how  the  'Without  me  ye  can  do  nothing,'  is 
but  the  forerunner  of  'I  can  do  all  things  through 


174  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Christ  who  strengtheneth  me.'  We  learn  to  glory  iu 
infirmities,  to  take  pleasure  in  necessities  and  dis- 
tresses for  Christ's  sake;  for  'when  I  am  weak,  then 
am  I  strong.'  He  rises  above  the  ordinary  tone  in 
which  so  many  Christians  speak  of  their  weakness, 
while  they  are  content  to  abide  there,  because  he  has 
learnt  from  Christ  that  in  the  life  of  Divine  love  the 
emptying  of  self  and  the  sacrifice  of  our  will  is  the 
^rest  way  to  have  all  we  can  wish  or  will.  Depend- 
ence, subjection,  self-sacrifice,  are  for  the  Christian 
as  for  Christ  the  blessed  path  of  life.  Like  as  Christ 
lived  through  and  in  the  Father,  even  so  the  believer 
through  and  in  Christ. 

Think  of  the  glory  of  this  life  of  Christ  in  the 
Father's  love.  Because  He  gave  Himself  wholly  to 
the  Father's  will  and  glory,  the  Father  crowned  Him 
with  glory  and  honour.  He  acknowledged  Him  as 
His  only  representative;  He  made  Him  partaker  of 
His  power  and  authority ;  He  exalted  Him  to  share  His 
throne  as  God.  And  even  so  will  it  be  with  him  who 
abides  in  Christ's  love.  If  Christ  finds  us  willing  to 
trust  ourselves  and  our  interests  to  His  love,  if  in 
that  trust  we  give  up  all  care  for  our  own  will  and 
honour,  if  we  make  it  our  glory  to  exercise  and  con- 
fess absolute  dependence  on  Him  in  all  things,  if 
we  are  content  to  have  no  life  but  in  Him,  He  will  do 
for  us  what  the  Father  did  for  Hira.  He  will  lay  of 
His  glory  on  us:  As  the  name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  is 


AS  CHRIST  IN  THE  FATHER.  175 

glorified  in  us,  we  are  glorified  in  Hin)  {2  Thess.  i. 
12).  He  acknowledges  ns  as  His  true  and  worthy- 
representatives;  He  entrusts  us  with  His  power;  He 
admits  us  to  His  counsels,  as  He  allows  our  interces- 
sion to  influence  His  rule  of  His  Church  and  the 
world;  He  makes  us  the  vehicles  of  His  authority 
and  His  influence  over  men.  His  Spirit  knows  no 
other  dwelling  than  such,  and  seeks  no  other  instru- 
ments for  His  Divine  work.  Blessed  life  of  love  for 
the  soul  that  abides  in  Christ's  love,  even  as  He  in 
the  Father's! 

Believer!  abide  in  the  love  of  Christ.  Take  and 
study  His  relation  to  the  Father  as  pledge  of  what 
thine  own  can  become.  As  blessed,  as  mighty,  as 
glorious  as  was  His  life  in  the  Father,  can  thine  be 
in  Him.  Let  this  truth,  accepted  under  the  teaching 
of  the  Spirit  in  faith,  remove  every  vestige  of  fear, 
as  if  abiding  in  Christ  were  a  burden  and  a  work. 
In  the  light  of  His  life  in  the  Father,  let  it  hence- 
forth be  to  thee  a  blessed  rest  in  the  union  with  Him, 
an  overflowing  fountain  of  joy  and  strength.  To 
abide  in  His  love.  His  mighty,  saving,  keeping,  satis- 
fying love,  even  as  He  abode  in  the  Father's  love, — 
surely  the  very  greatness  of  our  calling  teaches  us  that 
it  never  can  be  a  work  we  have  to  perform ;  it  must 
be  with  us  as  with  Him,  the  result  of  the  spontaneous 
outflowing  of  a  life  from  within,  and  the  mighty  in- 
working  of  the  love  from  above.     What  we  only  need 


176  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

is  this:  to  take  time  and  study  the  Divine  image  of 
this  life  of  love  set  before  us  in  Christ.  We  need  to 
have  our  souls  still  unto  God,  gazing  upon  that  life 
of  Christ  in  the  Father  until  the  light  from  heaven 
falls  on  it,  and  we  hear  the  living  voice  of  our  Be- 
loved whispering  gently  to  us  personally  the  teaching 
He  gave  to  the  disciples.  Soul,  be  still  and  listen; 
let  every  thought  be  hushed  until  the  word  has  en- 
tered thy  heart  too:  'Child!  I  love  thee,  even  as  the 
Father  loved  me.  Abide  in  my  love,  even  as  I  abide 
in  the  Father's  love.  Thy  life  on  earth  in  me  is  to 
be  the  perfect  counterpart  of  mine  in  the  Father.' 

And  if  the  thought  will  sometimes  come:  Surely 
this  is  too  high  for  us;  can  it  be  really  true?  only  re- 
member that  the  greatness  of  the  privilege  is  justijBed 
by  the  greatness  of  the  object  He  has  in  view.  Christ 
was  the  revelation  of  the  Father  on  earth.  He  could 
not  be  this  if  there  were  not  the  most  perfect  unity, 
the  most  complete  communication  of  all  the  Father 
had  to  the  Son.  He  could  be  it  because  the  Father 
loved  Him,  and  He  abode  in  that  love.  Believers  are 
the  revelation  of  Christ  on  earth.  They  cannot  be  this 
unless  there  be  perfect  unity,  so  that  the  world  can 
know  that  He  loves  them  and  has  sent  them.  But 
they  can  be  it  if  Christ  loves  them  with  the  infinite 
love  that  gives  itself  and  all  it  has,  and  if  they  abide 
in  that  love. 

Lord,  show  us  Thy  love.     Make  us  with  all  the 


AS  CHRIST  IN  THE  FATHER.  177 

saints  to  know  the  love  that  passeth  knowledge. 
Lord,  show  us  in  Thine  own  blessed  life  what  it  is  to 
abide  in  Thy  love.  And  the  sight  shall  so  win  us, 
that  it  will  be  impossible  for  us  one  single  hour  to 
seek  any  other  life  than  the  life  of  abiding  in  Thy 
love. 

12 


178  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TWENTY-FOURTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHEIST 

OBEYING  HIS  COMMANDMENTS. 

'If  ye  keep  my  commandments,  ye  shall  abide  in  my 
love;  even  as  I  kept  my  Father's  commandments,  and 
abide  in  His  love.  * — John  xv.  10. 

HOW  clearly  we  are  taught  here  the  place  which 
good  works  are  to  occupy  in  the  life  of  the 
believer!  Christ  as  the  beloved  Son  was  in  the 
Father's  love.  He  kept  His  commandments,  and  so 
He  abode  in  the  love.  So  the  believer,  without  works, 
receives  Christ  and  is  in  Him;  he  keeps  the  com- 
mandments, and  so  abides  in  the  love.  When  the 
sinner,  in  coming  to  Christ,  seeks  to  prepare  himself 
by  works,  the  voice  of  the  Gospel  sounds,  'Not  of 
imrlcs.''  When  once  in  Christ,  lest  the  flesh  should 
abuse  the  word,  'Not  of  works,'  the  Gospel  lifts  its 
voice  as  loud:  'Created  in  Christ  Jesus  unto  good 
ivories''  {see  Epli.  ii,  P,  10).  To  the  sinner  out  of 
Christ,  works  may  be  his  greatest  hindrance,  keeping 
him  from  the  union  with  the  Saviour.  To  the  be- 
liever in  Christ,  works  are  strength  and  blessing, 
for  by  them  faith  is  made  perfect  {Jas.  ii.  22)^  the 
union  with  Christ  is  cemented,  and  the  soul  estab- 


OBEYING  HIS  COMMANDMENTS.  179 

lished  and  more  deeply  rooted  in  the  love  of  God. 
'If  a  man  love  me,  he  will  keep  my  words,  and  my 
Father  will  love  him.'  'If  ye  keep  my  command- 
ments, ye  shall  abide  in  my  love. ' 

The  connection  between  this  keeping  the  command- 
ments and  the  abiding  in  Christ's  love  is  easily  un- 
derstood. Our  union  with  Jesus  is  not  a  thing  of 
the  intellect  or  sentiment,  but  a  real  vital  union  in 
heart  and  life.  The  holy  life  of  Jesus,  with  His 
feelings  and  disposition,  is  breathed  into  us  by  the 
Holy  Spirit.  The  believer's  calling  is  to  think  and 
feel  and  will  just  what  Jesus  thought  and  felt  and 
willed.  He  desires  to  be  partaker  not  only  of  the 
grace  but  also  of  the  holiness  of  His  Lord;  or  rather, 
he  sees  that  holiness  is  the  chief  beauty  of  grace.  To 
live  the  life  of  Christ  means  to  him  to  be  delivered 
from  the  life  of  self;  the  will  of  Christ  is  to  him 
the  only  path  of  liberty  from  the  slavery  of  his  own 
evil  self-will. 

To  the  ignorant  or  slothful  believer  there  is  a  great 
diiference  between  the  promises  and  commands  of 
Scripture.  The  former  he  counts  his  comfort  and 
his  food;  but  to  him  who  is  really  seeking  to  abide 
in  Christ's  love,  the  commands  become  no  less  pre- 
cious. As  much  as  the  promises  they  are  the  revela- 
tions of  the  Divine  love,  guides  into  the  deeper  expe- 
rience of  the  Divine  life,  blessed  helpers  in  the  path 
to  a  closer  union  with  the  Lord.     He  sees  how  the 


180  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

harmony  of  our  will  with  His  will  is  one  of  the  chief 
elements  of  our  fellowship  with  Him.  The  will  is 
the  central  faculty  in  the  Divine  as  in  the  human 
being.  The  will  of  God  is  the  power  that  rules  the 
whole  moral  as  well  as  the  natural  world.  How  could 
there  be  fellowship  with  Him  without  delight  in  His 
will?  It  is  only  as  long  as  salvation  is  to  the  sinner 
nothing  but  a  personal  safety,  that  he  can  be  care- 
less or  afraid  of  the  doing  of  God's  will.  No  sooner 
is  it  to  him  what  Scripture  and  the  Holy  Spirit  re- 
veal it  to  be, — the  restoration  to  communion  with 
God  and  conformity  to  Him, — than  he  feels  that 
there  is  no  law  more  natural  or  more  beautiful  than 
this:  Keeping  Christ's  commandments  the  way  to 
abide  in  Christ's  love.  His  inmost  soul  approves 
when  he  hears  the  beloved  Lord  make  the  larger  meas- 
ure of  the  Spirit,  with  the  manifestation  of  the 
Father  and  the  Son  in  the  believer,  entirely  depend- 
ent upon  the  keeping  of  His  commandments  {John 
xiv,  15,  16,  21,  28), 

There  is  another  thing  that  opens  to  him  a  deeper 
insight  and  secures  a  still  more  cordial  acceptance  of 
this  truth.  It  is  this,  that  in  no  other  way  did 
Christ  Himself  abide  in  the  Father's  love.  In  the 
life  which  Christ  led  upon  earth,  obedience  was  a 
solemn  reality.  The  dark  and  awful  power  that  led 
man  to  revolt  from  his  God,  came  upon  Him  too,  to 
tempt  Him.     To  Him  as  man  its  offers  of  self-grati- 


OBEYING  HIS  COMMANDMENTS,  181 

flcation  were  not  matters  of  indifference;  to  refuse 
them,  He  had  to  fast  and  pray.  He  suffered,  be- 
ing tempted.  He  spoke  very  distinctly  of  not  seek- 
ing to  do  His  own  will,  as  a  surrender  He  had  con- 
tinually to  make.  He  made  the  keeping  of  the 
Father's  commandments  the  distinct  object  of  His 
life,  and  so  abode  in  His  love.  Does  He  not  tell  us, 
*I  do  nothing  of  myself,  but  as  the  Father  taught  me, 
I  speak  these  things.  And  He  that  sent  me  is  with 
me;  He  hath  not  left  me  alone;  for  I  do  always  the 
things  that  are  pleasing  to  Him.'  He  thus  opened 
to  us  the  only  path  to  the  blessedness  of  a  life  on 
earth  in  the  love  of  heaven;  and  when,  as  from  our 
vine.  His  Spirit  flows  in  the  branches,  this  keeping 
the  commands  is  one  of  the  surest  and  highest  ele- 
ments of  the  life  He  inspires. 

Believer !  wouldest  thou  abide  in  Jesus,  be  very  care- 
ful to  keep  His  commandments.  Keep  them  in  the 
love  of  thine  heart.  Be  not  content  to  have  them  in 
the  Bible  for  reference,  but  have  them  transferred  by 
careful  study,  by  meditation  and  by  prayer,  by  a  lov- 
ing acceptance,  by  the  Spirit's  teaching,  to  the  fleshy 
tables  of  the  heart.  Be  not  content  with  the  knowl- 
edge of  some  of  the  commands,  those  most  commonly 
received  among  Christians,  while  others  lie  unknown 
and  neglected.  Surely,  with  thy  New  Covenant 
privileges,  thou  wouldest  not  be  behind  the  Old  Testa- 
ment saints  who  spake  so  fervently :  'I  esteem   all  thy 


182  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

precepts  concerning  all  things  to  be  right.'  Be 
assured  that  there  is  still  much  of  thy  Lord's  will 
that  thou  dost  not  yet  understand.  Make  Paul's 
prayer  for  the  Colossians  thine  for  thyself  and  all  be- 
lievers, 'that  you  might  he  filled  with  the  knowledge 
of  His  will  in  all  wisdom  and  spiritual  understanding;' 
and  that  of  wrestling  Epaphras,  *that  you  may  stand 
perfect  and  complete  in  all  the  will  of  God. '  Ee- 
member  that  this  is  one  of  the  great  elements  of  spir- 
itual growth — a  deeper  insight  into  the  will  of  God 
concerning  you.  Imagine  not  that  entire  consecra- 
tion is  the  end — it  is  only  the  beginning — of  the  truly 
holy  life.  See  how  Paul,  after  having  {Eom,  xii.  1) 
taught  believers  to  lay  themselves  upon  the  altar, 
whole  and  holy  burnt-offerings  to  their  God,  at  once 
proceeds  {ver.  2)  to  tell  them  what  the  true  altar-life 
is:  being  ever  more  and  more  'renewed  in  their  mind 
to  prove  what  is  the  good  and  perfect  and  acceptable 
will  of  God.'  The  progressive  renewal  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  leads  to  growing  like-mindedness  to  Christ; 
then  comes  a  delicate  power  of  spiritual  perception, — 
a  holy  instinct, — by  which  the  soul  'quick  of  under- 
standing {marg.  quick  of  scent)  in  the  fear  of  the 
Lord,'  knows  to  recognize  the  meaning  and  the  appli- 
cation of  the  Lord's  commands  to  daily  life  in  a  way 
that  remains  hidden  to  the  ordinary  Christian.  Keep 
them  dwelling  richly  within  thee,  hide  them  within 
thy  heart,  and  thou  shalt  taste  the  blessedness  of  the 


OBEYING  HIS  COMMANDMENTS.  183 

man  whose  'delight  is  in  the  law  of  the  Lord,  and  in 
His  law  doth  he  meditate  day  and  night.'  Love  will 
assimilate  into  thy  inmost  being  the  commands  as  food 
from  heaven.  They  will  no  longer  come  to  thee  as  a 
law  standing  outside  and  against  thee,  but  as  the  liv- 
ing power  which  has  transformed  thy  will  into  perfect 
harmony  with  all  thy  Lord  doth  require. 

And  keep  them  in  the  obedience  of  thy  life.  It 
has  been  thy  solemn  vow^ — has  it  not? — no  longer  to 
tolerate  even  a  single  sin:  'I  have  sworn,  and  I  will 
perform  it,  that  I  will  keep  Thy  righteous  judg- 
ments.' Labour  earnestly  in  prayer  to  stand  perfect 
and  complete  in  all  the  will  of  God.  Ask  earnestly 
for  the  discovery  of  every  secret  sin — of  anything  that 
is  not  in  perfect  harmony  with  the  will  of  God. 
Walk  up  to  the  light  thou  hast  faithfully  and  ten- 
derly, yielding  thyself  in  an  unreserved  surrender  to 
obey  all  that  the  Lord  hath  spoken.  When  Israel 
took  that  vow  {Bx,  xix,  S^  xxiv,  7),  it  was  only  to 
break  it  all  too  soon.  The  New  Covenant  gives  the 
grace  to  make  the  vow  and  to  keep  it  too  {Jer,  xxxi,). 
Be  careful  of  disobedience  even  in  little  things. 
Disobedience  dulls  the  conscience,  darkens  the  soul, 
deadens  our  spiritual  energies, — -therefore  keep  the 
commandments  of  Christ  with  implicit  obedience. 
Be  a  soldier  that  asks  for  nothing  but  the  orders  of 
the  commander.  ' 

And  if  even  for  a  moment  the  commandments  ap- 


184  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

pear  grievous,  just  remember  whose  they  are.  They 
are  the  commandments  of  Him  who  loves  thee.  They 
are  all  love,  they  come  from  His  love,  they  lead  to 
His  love.  Each  new  surrender  to  keep  the  com- 
mandments, each  new  sacrifice  in  keeping  them, 
leads  to  deeper  union  with  the  will,  the  spirit,  and 
the  love  of  the  Saviour.  The  double  recompense  of 
reward  shall  be  thine, — a  fuller  entrance  into  the 
mystery  of  His  love, — a  fuller  conformity  to  His  own 
blessed  life.  And  thou  shalt  learn  to  prize  these 
words  as  among  thy  choicest  treasures:  'If  ye  keep 
my  commandments,  ye  shall  abide  in  my  love,  even 
AS  I  have  kept  my  Father's  commandments  and  ahide 
in  His  love. ' 


THAT  YOUR  JOY  MAY  BE  FULL.  185 


TWENTY-FIFTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHRIST 

THAT  YOUR  JOY  MAY  BE  FULL. 

*  These  things  have  I  spoken  unto  you,  that  my  joy  might 
abide  in  you,  and  that  your  joy  might  be  fulL  '—John  xv. 
11. 

ABIDING  fully  in  Christ  is  a  life  of  exquisite  and 
overflowing  happiness.  As  Christ  gets  more 
complete  possession  of  the  soul,  it  enters  into  the  joy 
of  its  Lord.  His  own  joy,  the  joy  of  heaven,  be- 
comes its  own,  and  that  in  full  measure,  and  as  an 
ever-abiding  portion.  Just  as  joy  on  earth  is  every- 
where connected  with  the  vine  and  its  fruit,  so  joy  is 
an  essential  characteristic  of  the  life  of  the  believer 
who  fully  abides  in  Christ,  the  heavenly  Vine. 

We  all  know  the  value  of  joy.  It  alone  is  the  proof 
that  what  we  have  really  satisfies  the  heart.  As  long 
as  duty,  or  self-interest,  or  other  motives  influence 
me,  men  cannot  know  what  the  object  of  my  pursuit  or 
possession  is  really  worth  to  me.  But  when  it  gives 
me  joy,  and  they  see  me  delight  in  it,  they  know  that 
to  me  at  least  it  is  a  treasure.  Hence  there  is  noth- 
ing so  attractive  as  joy,  no  preaching  so  persuasive 
as  the  sight  of  hearts  made  glad.     Just  this  makes 


186  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

gladness  such  a  mighty  element  in  the  Christian  char- 
acter: there  is  no  proof  of  the  reality  of  God's  love 
and  the  blessing  He  bestows,  which  men  so  soon  feel 
the  force  of,  as  when  the  joy  of  God  overcomes  all  the 
trials  of  life.  And  for  the  Christian's  own  welfare, 
joy  is  no  less  indispensable:  the  joy  of  the  Lord  is  his 
strength;  confidence,  and  courage,  and  patience  find 
their  inspiration  in  joy.  With  a  heart  full  of  joy  no 
work  can  weary,  and  no  burden  can  depress;  God 
Himself  is  strength  and  song. 

Let  us  hear  what  the  Saviour  says  of  the  joy  of 
abiding  in  Him.  He  promises  us  Bis  own  joy: 
'My  joy.'  As  the  whole  parable  refers  to  the  life  His 
disciples  should  have  in  Him  when  ascended  to  heav- 
en, the  joy  is  that  of  His  resurrection  life.  This  is 
clear  from  those  other  words  of  His  (John  xvi.  22): 
'I  will  see  you  again,  and  your  heart  shall  rejoice, 
and  your  joy  shall  no  man  take  from  you.'  It  was 
only  with  the  resurrection  and  its  glory  that  the  power 
of  the  never-changing  life  began,  and  only  in  it  that 
the  never-ceasing  joy  could  have  its  rise.  With  it 
was  fulfilled  the  word:  'Therefore  thy  God  hath 
anointed  thee  with  the  oil  of  gladness  above  thy  fel- 
lows.' The  day  of  His  crowning  was  the  day  of  the 
gladness  of  His  heart.  That  joy  of  His  was  the  joy 
of  a  work^ fully  and  for  ever  completed,  the  joy  of  the 
Father's  bosom  regained,  and  the  joy  of  souls  re- 
deemed.    These  are  the  elements  of  His  joy;  of  them 


THAT  YOUR  JOY  MAY  BE  FULL.  187 

the  abiding  in  Him  makes  us  partakers.  The  be- 
liever shares  so  fully  His  victory  and  His  perfect  re- 
demption that  his  faith  can  without  ceasing  sing  the 
conqueror's  song:  ^Thanks  be  to  God,  who  always 
causeth  me  to  triumph.'  As  the  fruit  of  this,  there 
is  the  joy  of  the  undisturbed  dwelling  in  the  light  of 
the  Father's  love, — not  a  cloud  to  intervene  if  the 
abiding  be  unbroken.  And  then,  with  this  joy  in  the 
love  of  the  Father,  as  a  love  received,  the  joy  of 
the  love  of  souls,  as  love  going  out  and  rejoicing  over 
the  lost.  Abiding  in  Christ,  penetrating  into  the 
very  depths  of  His  life  and  heart,  seeking  for  the  most 
perfect  oneness,  these  the  three  streams  of  His  joy 
flow  into  our  hearts.  Whether  we  look  backward 
and  see  the  work  He  has  done,  or  upward  and  see  the 
reward  He  has  in  the  Father's  love  that  passeth 
knowledge,  or  forward  in  the  continual  accessions  of 
joy  as  sinners  are  brought  home.  His  joy  is  ours. 
With  our  feet  on  Calvary,  our  eyes  on  the  Father's 
countenance,  and  our  hands  helping  sinners  home,  we 
have  His  joy  as  our  own. 

And  then  He  speaks  of  this  joy  as  aUding^ — a  joy 
that  is  never  to  cease  or  to  be  interrupted  for  a 
moment:  *That  my  joy  might  abide  in  you.'  *Your 
joy  no  man  taketh  from  you.'  This  is  what  many 
Christians  cannot  understand.  Their  view  of  the 
Christian  life  is  that  it  is  a  succession  of  changes,  now 
joy  and  now  sorrow.     And  they  appeal  to  the  experi- 


188  ABIDE  IN  CHEIST : 

4  ences  of  a  man  like  the  Apostle  Paul,  as  a  proof  of 
*4^  how  much  there  may  be  of  weeping,  and  sorrow,  and 
sufEering.  They  have  not  noticed  how  just  Paul  gives 
the  strongest  evidence  as  to  this  unceasing  joy.  He 
understood  the  paradox  of  the  Christian  life  as  the 
combination  at  one  and  the  same  moment  of  all  the 
bitterness  of  earth  and  all  the  joy  of  heaven.  'As 
sorrowful,  yet  always  rejoicing:^  these  precious  golden 
words  teach  us  how  the  joy  of  Christ  can  overrule  the 
sorrow  of  the  world,  can  make  us  sing  while  we  weep, 
and  can  maintain  in  the  heart,  even  when  cast  down 
by  disappointment  or  difficulties,  a  deep  conscious- 
ness of  a  joy  that  is  unspeakable  and  full  of  glory. 
There  is  but  one  condition:  */  will  see  you  agam, 
and  your  heart  shall  rejoice,  and  your  joy  shall  no 
man  take  from  you.'  The  presence  of  Jesus,  dis- 
tinctly manifested,  cannot  but  give  joy.  Abiding  in 
Him  consciously,  how  can  the  soul  but  rejoice  and  be 
glad?  Even  when  weeping  for  the  sins  and  the  souls 
of  others,  there  is  the  fountain  of  gladness  springing 
up  in  the  faith  of  His  power  and  love  to  save. 

And  this  His  own  joy  abiding  with  us.  He  wants 
to  be  full  Of  the  full  joy  our  Saviour  spoke  thrice 
on  the  last  night.  Once  here  in  the  Parable  of  the 
Vine:  ^ Tliese  things  have  I spohen  unto  you  that  your 
joy  might  he  full  j^  and  every  deeper  insight  into  the 
wonderful  blessedness  of  being  the  branch  of  such  a 
Vine   confirms    His    Word.     Then   He   connects  it 


THAT  YOUR  JOY  MAY  BE  FULL.  189 

{John  XVI.  24)  with  our  prayers  being  answered :  'Ask 
and  ye  shall  i^eceive^  that  your  joy  may  be  full. '  To 
the  spiritual  mind,  answered  prayer  is  not  only  a 
means  of  obtaining  certain  blessings,  but  something 
infinitely  higher.  It  is  a  token  of  our  fellowship 
with  the  Father  and  the  Son  in  heaven,  of  their  de- 
light in  us,  and  our  having  been  admitted  and  having 
had  a  voice  in  that  wondrous  interchange  of  love  in 
which  the  Father  and  the  Son  hold  counsel,  and  de- 
cide the  daily  guidance  of  the  children  on  earth.  To 
a  soul  abiding  in  Christ,  that  longs  for  manifesta- 
tions of  His  love,  and  that  understands  to  take  an 
answer  to  prayer  in  its  true  spiritual  value,  as  a  re- 
sponse from  the  throne  to  all  its  utterances  of  love 
and  trust,  the  joy  which  it  brings  is  truly  unutter- 
able. The  word  is  found  true:  *Ask  and  ye  shall 
receive,  and  your  joy  shall  be  full.'  And  then 
the  Saviour  says,  in  His  high-priestly  prayer  to  the 
Father  {Johii  xvii.  18)^  '  Tliese  things  I  speak ^  that 
they  might  have  my  ]oy  fulfilled  in  themselves.'  It 
is  the  sight  of  the  great  High  Priest  entering  the 
Father's  presence  for  us,  ever  living  to  pray  and  carry 
on  His  blessed  work  in  the  power  of  an  endless  life, 
that  removes  every  possible  cause  of  fear  or  doubt, 
and  gives  us  the  assurance  and  experience  of  a  per- 
fect salvation.  Let  the  believer  who  seeks,  according 
to  the  teaching  of  John  xv.,  to  possess  the  full  joy  of 
abiding  in  Christ,  and  according  to  John  xvi.,  the 


190  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

full  joy  of  prevailing  prayer,  press  forward  to  John 
xvii.  Let  him  there  listen  to  those  wondrous  words 
of  intercession  spoken,  that  his  joy  might  be  full. 
Let  him,  as  he  listens  to  those  words,  learn  the  love 
that  even  now  pleads  for  him  in  heaven  without 
ceasing,  the  glorious  objects  for  which  it  is  pleading, 
and  which  through  its  all-prevailing  pleading  are 
hourly  being  realized,  and  Christ's  joy  will  be  ful- 
filled in  him. 

Christ's  own  joy,  abiding  joy,  fulness  of  joy,— such 
is  the  portion  of  the  believer  who  abides  in  Christ. 
Why,  0  why  is  it  that  this  joy  has  so  little  power  to 
attract?  The  reason  simply  is:  Men,  yea,  even 
God's  children,  do  not  believe  in  it.  Instead  of  the 
abiding  in  Christ  being  looked  upon  as  the  happiest 
life  that  ever  can  be  led,  it  is  regarded  as  a  life  of 
self-denial  and  of  sadness.  They  forget  that  the  self- 
denial  and  the  sadness  are  owing  to  the  not  abiding, 
and  that  to  those  who  once  yield  themselves  unre- 
servedly to  abide  in  Christ  as  a  bright  and  blessed  life, 
their  faith  comes  true, — the  joy  of  the  Lord  is  theirs. 
The  difSculties  all  arise  from  the  want  of  the  full  sur- 
render to  a  full  abiding. 

Child  of  God,  who  seekest  to  abide  in  Christ,  re- 
member what  the  Lord  says.  At  the  close  of  the 
Parable  of  the  Vine  He  adds  these  precious  words  : 
'  These  things  have  I  spoken  unto  you,  that  my  joy 
might  abide  in  you,  and  that  your  joy  might  be  full.' 


THAT  YOUR  JOY  MAY  BE  FULL.  191 

Claim  the  joy  as  part  of  the  branch  life, — not  the 
first  or  chief  part,  but  as  the  blessed  proof  of  the 
sufficiency  of  Christ  to  satisfy  every  need  of  the  soul. 
Be  happy.  Cultivate  gladness.  If  there  are  times 
when  it  comes  of  itself,  and  the  heart  feels  the  unut- 
terable joy  of  the  Saviour's  presence,  praise  God  for 
it,  and  seek  to  maintain  it.  If  at  other  times  feel- 
ings are  dull,  and  the  experience  of  the  joy  not  such 
as  thou  couldest  wish  it,  still  praise  God  for  the  life 
of  unutterable  blessedness  to  tvhich  thou  hast  been  re- 
deemed. In  this,  too,  the  word  holds  good:  'Accord- 
ing to  your  faith  be  it  unto  you.'  As  thou  claimest 
all  the  other  gifts  in  Jesus,  even  claim  this  one  too, — 
not  for  thine  own  sake,  but  for  His  and  the  Father's 
glory.  'My  joy  m  you;'  'that  77iy  joy  msLj  abide  in 
you;'  'my  joy  fulfilled  in  themselves,' — these  are  Je- 
sus' own  words.  It  is  impossible  to  take  Him  wholly 
and  heartily,  and  not  to  get  His  joy  too.  Therefore, 
'Eejoice  in  the  Lord  always;  and  again  I  say,  Ee- 
joice.' 


192  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TWENTY-SIXTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  m  CHKIST 

AND  IN  LOVE  TO  THE  BRETHREN. 

'  This  is  my  commandment,  That  ye  love  one  another,  as 
I  have  loved  you. ' — John  xv.  12. 

^T  IKE  AS  the  Father  loved  me,  even  so  I  have 
-Li  loved  you;  like  as  I  have  loved  you,  even  so 
love  ye  one  another.'  God  became  man;  Divine  love 
began  to  run  in  the  channel  of  a  human  heart;  it  be- 
comes the  love  of  man  to  man.  The  love  that  fills 
heaven  and  eternity  is  ever  to  be  daily  seen  here  in 
the  life  of  earth  and  of  time. 

'This  is  my  commandment,'  the  Saviour  says,  *that 
ye  love  one  another,  as  I  have  loved  you.'  He  some- 
times spoke  of  commandments,  but  the  love,  which 
is  the  fulfilling  of  the  law,  is  the  all-including  one, 
and  therefore  is  called  His  commandment — the  new 
commandment.  It  is  to  be  the  great  evidence  of  the 
reality  of  the  New  Covenant,  of  the  power  of  the  new 
life  revealed  in  Jesus  Christ.  It  is  to  be  the  one 
convincing  and  indisputable  token  of  discipleship: 
'Hereby  shall  all  men  hnow  that  ye  are  my  disciples;' 
*That  they  may  be  one  in  us,  that  the  ivorld  may  he- 
lieve;^     *That  they  may  be  made  perfect  in  one,  that 


AND  IN  LOVE  TO  THE  BRETHREN.         193 

the  world  may  know  that  Thou  hast  loved  them,  as 
Thou  hast  loved  me.'  To  the  believer  seeking  per- 
fect fellowship  with  Christ,  the  keeping  of  this  com-^ 
mandment  is  at  once  the  blessed  proof  that  he  is 
abiding  in  Him,  and  the  path  to  a  fuller  and  more 
perfect  union. 

Let  us  try  and  understand  how  this  is  so.  We  know 
that  God  is  love,  and  that  Christ  came  to  reveal  this, 
not  as  a  doctrine  but  as  a  life.  His  life,  in  its  wonder- 
ful self-abasement  and  self-sacrifice,  was,  above  every- 
thing, the  embodiment  of  Divine  love,  the  showing 
forth  to  men,  in  such  human  manifestations  as  they 
could  understand,  how  God  loves.  In  His  love  to  the 
unworthy  and  the  ungrateful,  in  His  humbling  Him- 
self to  walk  among  men  as  a  servant,  in  His  giving 
Himself  up  to  death.  He  simply  lived  and  acted  out 
the  life  of  the  Divine  love  which  was  in  the  heart  of 
God.  He  lived  and  died  to  show  us  the  love  of  the 
Father. 

And  now,  just  as  Christ  was  to  show  forth  God's 
love,  believers  are  to  show  forth  to  the  world  the  love 
of  Christ.  They  are  to  prove  to  men  that  Christ 
loves  them,  and  in  loving  fills  them  with  a  love  that 
is  not  of  earth.  They,  iy  living  and  iy  loving  just 
as  He  did^  are  to  be  perpetual  witnesses  to  the  love 
that  gave  itself  to  die.  He  loved  so  that  even  the 
Jews  cried  out,  as  at  Bethany,  *  Behold  how  He 
loved!'  Christians  are  to  live  so  that  men  are  com- 
13 


194  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

pelled  to  say,  'See  how  these  Christians  love  one  an- 
other/ In  their  daily  intercourse  with  each  other, 
Christians  are  made  a  spectacle  to  God,  and  to  an- 
gels, and  to  men;  and  in  the  Christ-likeness  of  their 
love  to  each  other,  are  to  prove  what  manner  of  spirit 
they  are  of.  Amid  all  diversity  of  character  or  of 
creed,  of  language  or  of  station,  they  are  to  prove  that 
love  has  made  them  members  of  one  body,  and  of 
each  other,  and  has  taught  them  each  to  forget  and 
sacrifice  self  for  the  sake  of  the  other.  Their  life  of 
love  is  the  chief  evidence  of  Christianity,  the  proof 
to  the  world  that  God  sent  Christ,  and  that  He  has 
shed  abroad  in  them  the  same  love  with  which  He 
loved  Him.  Of  all  the  evidences  of  Christianity,  this 
is  the  mightiest  and  most  convincing. 

This  love  of  Christ's  disciples  to  each  other  occu- 
pies a  central  position  between  their  love  to  God  and 
to  all  men.  Of  their  love  to  God,  whom  they  cannot 
see,  it  is  the  test.  The  love  to  one  unseen  may  so 
easily  be  a  mere  sentiment,  or  even  an  imagination; 
in  the  intercourse  with  God's  children,  love  to  God  is 
really  called  into  exercise,  and  shows  itself  in  deeds 
that  the  Father  accepts  as  done  to  Himself.  So 
alone  can  it  be  proved  to  be  true.  The  love  to  the 
brethren  is  the  flower  and  fruit  of  the  root,  unseen  in 
the  heart,  of  love  to  God.  And  this  fruit  again  be- 
comes the  seed  of  love  to  all  men:  intercourse  with 
each   other   is   the    school    in    which   believers   are 


AND  IN  LOVE  TO  THE  BRETHREN.  195 

trained  and  strengthened  to  love  their  fellow-men, 
who  are  yet  out  of  Christ,  not  simply  with  the  liking 
that  rests  on  points  of  agreement,  but  with  the  holy 
love  that  takes  hold  of  the  unworthiest,  and  bears 
with  the  most  disagreeable  for  Jesus'  sake.  It  is  love 
to  each  other  as  disciples  that  is  ever  put  in  the  fore- 
ground as  the  link  between  love  to  God  alone  and  to 
men  in  general. 

In  Christ's  intercourse  with  His  disciples  this  broth- 
erly love  finds  the  law  of  its  conduct.  As  it  studies 
His  forgiveness  and  forbearance  towards  His  friends, 
with  the  seven  times  seven  as  its  only  measure, — as  it 
looks  to  His  unwearied  patience  and  His  infinite  hu- 
mility,— as  it  sees  the  meekness  and  lowliness  with 
which  He  seeks  to  win  for  Himself  a  place  as  their 
servant,  wholly  devoted  to  their  interests,— it  accepts 
with  gladness  His  command,  ^Ye  should  do  as  I  have 
done'  {John  xlii,  15).  Following  His  example,  each 
lives  not  for  Himself  but  for  the  other.  The  law  of 
kindness  is  on  the  tongue,  for  love  has  vowed  that 
never  shall  one  unkind  word  cross  its  lips.  It  refuses 
not  only  to  speak,  but  even  to  hear  or  to  think  evil ; 
of  the  name  and  character  of  the  fellow-Christian  it 
is  more  jealous  than  of  its  own.  My  own  good  name 
I  may  leave  to  the  Father;  my  brother's  my  Father 
has  entrusted  to  me.  In  gentleness  and  loving-kind- 
ness, in  courtesy  and  generosity,  in  self-sacrifice  and 
beneficence,  in  its  life  of  blessing  and  of  beauty,  the 


196  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Divine  love,  which  has  been  shed  abroad  in  the  be- 
liever's heart,  shines  out  as  it  shone  in  the  life  of 
Jesus. 

Christian !  what  say  you  of  this  your  glorious  call- 
ing to  love  like  Christ?  Does  not  your  heart  bound 
at  the  thought  of  the  unspeakable  privilege  of  thus 
showing  forth  the  likeness  of  the  Eternal  Love?  Or 
are  you  rather  ready  to  sigh  at  the  thought  of  the 
inaccessible  height  of  perfection  to  which  you  are  thus 
called  to  climb?  Brother,  sigh  not  at  what  is  in 
very  deed  the  highest  token  of  the  Father's  love,  that 
He  has  called  us  to  be  like  Christ  in  our  love,  just  as 
He  was  like  the  Father  in  His  love.  Understand  that 
He  who  gave  the  command  in  such  close  connection 
with  His  teaching  about  the  Vine  and  the  abiding  in 
Him,  gave  us  in  that  the  assurance  that  we  have  only 
to  abide  in  Him  to  be  able  to  love  like  Him.  Accept 
the  command  as  a  new  motive  to  a  more  full  abiding 
in  Christ.  Eegard  the  abiding  in  Him  more  than 
ever  as  an  abiding  in  His  love;  rooted  and  grounded 
daily  in  a  love  that  passeth  knowledge,  you  receive  of 
its  fulness,  and  learn  to  love.  With  Christ  abiding 
in  you,  the  Holy  Spirit  sheds  abroad  the  love  of  God 
in  your  heart,  and  you  love  the  brethren,  the  most 
trying  and  unlovable,  with  a  love  that  is  not  your 
own,  but  the  love  of  Christ  in  you.  And  the  com- 
mand about  your  love  to  the  brethren  is  changed  from 
a  burden  into  a  joy,  if  you  but  keep  it  linked,  as  Je- 


AND  IN  LOVE  TO  THE  BRETHREN         197 

siis  linked  it,  to  the  command  about  His  love  to  you : 
'Abide  in  my  love;  love  one  another,  as  I  have  loved 
you.' 

'This  is  my  commandment,  that  ye  love  one  an- 
other, as  I  have  loved  you.'  Is  not  this  now  some  of 
the  much  fruit  that  Jesus  has  promised  we  shall  bear, 
— in  very  deed  a  cluster  of  the  grapes  of  Eshcol,  with 
which  we  can  prove  to  others  that  the  land  of  prom- 
ise is  indeed  a  good  land?  Let  us  try  in  all  simplic- 
ity and  honesty  to  go  out  to  our  home  to  translate  the 
language  of  high  faith  and  heavenly  enthusiasm  into 
the  plain  prose  of  daily  conduct,  so  that  all  men  can 
understand  it.  Let  our  temper  be  under  the  rule  of 
the  love  of  Jesus:  He  can  not  alone  curb  it, — He  can 
make  us  gentle  and  patient.  Let  the  vow,  that  not 
an  unkind  word  of  others  shall  ever  be  heard  from 
our  lips,  be  laid  trustingly  at  His  feet.  Let  the  gen- 
tleness that  refuses  to  take  offence,  that  is  always 
ready  to  excuse,  to  think  and  hope  the  best,  mark 
our  intercourse  with  all.  Let  the  love  that  seeketh 
not  itself,  but  ever  is  ready  to  wash  others'  feet,  or 
even  to  give  its  life  for  them,  be  our  aim  as  we  abide 
in  Jesus.  Let  our  life  be  one  of  self-sacrifice,  always 
studying  the  welfare  of  others,  finding  our  highest 
joy  in  blessing  others.  And  let  us,  in  studying  the 
Divine  art  of  doing  good,  yield  ourselves  as  obedient 
learners  to  the  guidance  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  By  His 
grace,  the  most  commonplace  life  can  be  transfigured 


198  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST. 

with  the  brightness  of  a  heavenly  beauty,  as  the  infi- 
nite love  of  the  Divine  nature  shines  out  through  our 
frail  humanity.  Fellow-Christian,  let  us  praise  God  ! 
We  are  called  to  love  as  Jesus  loves,  as  God  loves. 

Abide  in  my  love,  and  love  as  I  have  loved.  Bless 
God,  it  is  possible.  The  new  holy  nature  we  have, 
and  which  grows  ever  stronger  as  it  abides  in  Christ 
the  Vine,  can  love  as  He  did.  Every  discovery  of  the 
evil  of  the  old  nature,  every  longing  desire  to  obey 
the  command  of  our  Lord,  every  experience  of  the 
power  and  the  blessedness  of  loving  with  Jesus'  love, 
will  urge  us  to  accept  with  fresh  faith  the  blessed  in- 
junctions: *  Abide  in  me,  and  I  in  you;'  'Abide  in 
my  love.' 


THAT  YOU  MAY  NOT  SIN,  199 


TWENTY-SEVENTH  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHRIST 

THAT  YOU  MAY  NOT  SIN. 

'In  Him  is  no  sin.  Whosoever  abideth  in  Him  sinneth 
not. '— 1  John  iii.  5,  6. 

^"yE  know/  the  apostle  had  said,  *that  He  was  man- 
J-  ifested  to  take  away  our  sin,'  and  had  thus  in- 
dicated salvation  from  sin  as  the  great  object  for 
which  the  Son  was  made  man.  The  connection  shows 
clearly  that  the  taking  away  has  reference  not  only 
to  the  atonement  and  freedom  from  guilt,  but  to  de- 
liverance from  the  power  of  sin,  so  that  the  believer 
no  longer  does  it.  It  is  Christ's  personal  holiness 
that  constitutes  His  power  to  effect  this  purpose. 
He  admits  sinners  into  life  union  with  Himself;  the 
result  is,  that  their  life  becomes  like  His.  'In  Him 
is  no  sin.  Whosoever  abideth  m  Him  sinneth  not. ' 
As  long  as  he  abides,  and  as  far  as  he  abides,  the  be- 
liever does  not  sin.  Our  holiness  of  life  has  its  root 
in  the  personal  holiness  of  Jesus.  *If  the  root  be 
holy,  so  also  are  the  branches.' 

The  question  at  once  arises:  How  is  this  consistent 
with  what  the  Bible  teaches  of  the  abiding  corruption 
of  our  human  nature,  or  with  what  John  himself  tells 


200  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

US  of  the  utter  falsehood  of  our  profession,  if  we  say 
that  we  have  no  sin,  that  we  have  not  sinned?  {see 
1  John  i,  8^  10).  It  is  just  this  passage  which,  if  we 
look  carefully  at  it,  will  teach  us  to  understand  our 
text  aright.  Note  the  difference  in  the  two  state- 
ments {ver.  S)y  'If  we  say  that  we  have  no  sin^^  and 
{ver.  10)^  *If  we  say  that  ive  have  not  sinned,'^  The 
two  expressions  cannot  be  equivalent;  the  second 
would  then  be  an  unmeaning  repetition  of  the  first. 
Having  sin  in  ver.  8  is  not  the  same  as  doing  sioi  in 
ver.  10.  Having  sin  is  having  a  sinful  nature.  The 
holiest  believer  must  each  moment  confess  that  he 
has  sin  within  him, — the  flesh,  namely,  in  which 
dwelleth  no  good  thing.  Sinning  or  doing  sin  is 
something  very  different:  it  is  yielding  to  indwelling 
sinful  nature,  and  falling  into  actual  transgression. 
And  so  we  have  two  admissions  that  every  true  be- 
liever must  make.  The  one  is  that  he  has  still  sin 
within  him  (ver,  8);  the  second,  that  that  sin  has  in 
former  times  broken  out  into  sinful  actions  {ver.  10), 
No  believer  can  say  either,  'I  hdve  no  sin  in  me,'  or 
*I  have  in  time  past  never  sinned.'  If  we  say  we 
have  no  sin  at  present,  or  that  we  have  not  sinned  in 
the  past,  we  deceive  ourselves.  But  no  confession, 
though  we  have  sin  in  the  present,  is  demanded  that 
we  are  doing  sin  in  the  present  too;  the  confession  of 
actual  sinning  refers  to  the  past.  It  may,  as  appears 
from  chap.  ii.  2,  be  in  the  present  also,  but  is  expected 


THAT  YOU  MAY  NOT  SIN.  201 

not  to  be.  And  so  we  see  how  the  deepest  confession 
of  sin  in  the  past  (as  Paul's  of  his  having  been  a 
persecutor),  and  the  deepest  consciousness  of  having 
still  a  vile  and  corrupt  nature  in  the  present,  may 
consist  with  humble  but  joyful  praise  to  Him  who 
keeps  from  stumbling. 

But  how  is  it  possible  that  a  believer,  having  sin  in 
him, — sin  of  such  intense  vitality,  and  such  terriT3le 
power  as  we  know  the  flesh  to  have, — that  a  believer 
having  sin  should  yet  not  he  doing  sin  ?  The  answer 
is:  'In  Him  is  no  sin.  He  that  abideth  in  Him 
sinneth  not.'  When  the  abiding  in  Christ  becomes 
close  and  unbroken,  so  that  the  soul  lives  from 
moment  to  moment  in  the  perfect  union  with  the 
Lord  its  keeper,  He  does,  indeed,  keep  down  the  power 
of  the  old  nature,  so  that  it  does  not  regain  dominion 
over  the  soul.  We  have  seen  that  there  are  degrees 
in  the  abiding.  With  most  Christians  the  abiding 
is  so  feeble  and  intermittent,  that  sin  continually 
obtains  the  ascendancy,  and  brings  the  soul  into  sub- 
jection. The  Divine  promise  given  to  faith  is:  'Sin 
shall  not  have  dominion  over  you.'  But  with  the 
promise  is  the  command :  'Let  not  sin  reign  in  your 
mortal  body.'  The  believer  who  claims  the  promise 
in  full  faith  has  the  power  to  obey  the  command,  and 
sin  is  kept  from  asserting  its  supremacy.  Ignorance 
of  the  promise,  or  unbelief,  or  unwatchfulness,  opens 
the  door  for  sin  to  reign.     And  so  the  life  of  many 


202  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

believers  is  a  course  of  continual  stumbling  and 
sinning.  But  when  the  believer  seeks  full  admission 
into,  and  a  permanent  abode  in  Jesus,  the  Sinless 
One,  then  the  life  of  Christ  keeps  from  actual  trans- 
gression. *In  Him  is  no  sin.  He  that  abideth  in 
Him  sinneth  not.'  Jesus  does  indeed  save  him  from 
his  sin, — not  by  the  removal  of  his  sinful  nature,  but 
by  keeping  him  from  yielding  to  it. 

I  have  read  of  a  young  lion  whom  nothing  could 
awe  or  keep  down  but  the  eye  of  his  keeper.  With 
the  keeper  you  could  come  near  him,  and  he  would 
crouch,  his  savage  nature  all  unchanged,  and  thirst- 
ing for  blood, — trembling  at  the  keeper's  feet.  You 
might  put  your  foot  on  his  neck,  as  long  as  the  keeper 
was  with  you.  To  approach  him  without  the  keeper 
would  be  instant  death.  And  so  it  is  that  the 
believer  can  have  sin  and  yet  not  do  sin.  The  evil 
nature,  the  flesh,  is  unchanged  in  its  enmity  against 
God,  but  the  abiding  presence  of  Jesus  keeps  it  down. 
In  faith  the  believer  entrusts  himself  to  the  keeping, 
to  the  indwelling,  of  the  Son  of  God;  he  abides  in 
Him,  and  counts  on  Jesus  to  abide  in  Him  too.  The 
union  and  fellowship  is  the  secret  of  a  holy  life:  'In 
Him  is  no  sin;  he  that  abideth  in  Him  sinneth  not.' 

And  now  another  question  will  arise:  Admitted 
that  the  complete  abiding  in  the  Sinless  One  will  keep 
from  sinning,  is  such  abiding  possible?  May  we 
hope  to  be  able  so  to  abide  in  Christ,  say,  even  for 


THAT  YOU  MAY  NOT  SIN,  203 

one  day,  that  we  may  be  kept  from  actual  transgres- 
sions? The  question  has  only  to  be  fairly  stated  and 
considered, — it  will  suggest  its  own  answer.  When 
Christ  commanded  us  to  abide  in  Him,  and  promised 
us  such  rich  fruit-bearing  to  the  glory  of  the  Father, 
and  such  mighty  power  in  our  intercessions,  can  He 
have  meant  anything  but  the  healthy,  vigorous, 
complete  union  of  the  branch  with  the  vine?  When 
He  promised  that  as  we  abide  in  Him  He  would  abide 
in  us,  could  He  mean  anything  but  that  His  dwelling 
in  us  would  be  a  reality  of  Divine  power  and  love? 
Is  not  this  way  of  saving  from  sin  just  that  which 
will  glorify  Him? — ^keeping  us  daily  humble  and  help- 
less in  the  consciousness  of  the  evil  nature,  watchful 
and  active  in  the  knowledge  of  its  terrible  power, 
dependent  and  trustful  in  the  remembrance  that  only 
His  presence  can  keep  the  lion  down.  0  let  us  believe 
that  when  Jesus  said,  'Abide  in  me,  and  I  in  you,' 
He  did  indeed  mean  that,  while  we  were  not  to  be 
freed  from  the  world  and  its  tribulation,  from  the 
sinful  nature  and  its  temptations,  we  were  at  least  to 
have  this  blessing  fully  secured  to  us, — grace  to  abide 
wholly,  only,  ever  in  our  Lord.  The  abiding  in 
Jesus  makes  it  possible  to  keep  from  actual  sinning; 
and  Jesus  Himself  makes  it  possible  to  abide  in  Him. 
Beloved  Christian!  I  do  not  wonder  if  the  promise 
of  the  text  appears  almost  too  high.  Do  not,  I  pray, 
let  your  attention  be  diverted  by  the  question  as  to 


204  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

« 

whether  it  would  be  possible  to  be  kept  for  your 
whole  life,  or  for  so  many  years,  without  sinning. 
Faith  has  ever  only  to  deal  with  the  present  moment. 
Ask  this:  Can  Jesus  at  the  present  moment,  as  I 
abide  in  Him,  keep  me  from  those  actual  transgres- 
sions which  have  been  the  stain  and  the  weariness  of 
my  daily  life?  Thou  canst  not  but  say,  Surely  He 
can.  Take  Him  then  at  this  present  moment,  and 
say,  'Jesus  keeps  me  now,  Jesus  saves  me  now.' 
Yield  yourself  to  Him  in  the  earnest  and  believing 
prayer  to  be  kept  abiding,  by  His  own  abiding  in 
you, — and  go  into  the  next  moment,  and  the  succeed- 
ing hours,  with  this  trust  continually  renewed.  As 
often  as  the  opportunity  occurs  in  the  moments 
between  your  occupations,  renew  your  faith  in  an  act 
of  devotion:  Jesus  keeps  me  now,  Jesus  saves  me 
now.  Let  failure  and  sin,  instead  of  discouraging 
you,  only  urge  you  still  more  to  seek  your  safety  in 
abiding  in  the  Sinless  One.  Abiding  is  a  grace  in 
which  you  can  grow  wonderfully,  if  you  will,  but 
make  at  once  the  complete  surrender,  and  then  per- 
severe with  ever  larger  expectations.  Eegard  it  as 
His  work  to  keep  you  abiding  in  Him,  and  His  work 
to  keep  you  from  sinning.  It  is  indeed  your  work 
to  abide  in  Him;  but  it  is  that,  only  because  it  is 
His  work  as  Vine  to  bear  and  hold  the  branch.  Gaze 
upon  His  holy  human  nature  as  what  He prejpared  for 
you  to  he  partaher  of  ivith  Himself^  and  you  will  see 


THAT  YOU  MAY  NOT  SIN.  205 

that  there  is  something  even  higher  and  better  than 
being  kept  from  sin,— that  is  but  the  restraining 
from  evil :  there  is  the  positive  and  larger  blessing  of 
being  now  a  vessel  purified  and  cleansed,  of  being 
filled  with  His  fulness,  and  made  the  channel  of 
showing  forth  His  power,  His  blessing,  and  His  glory. 


NOTE. 

IS   DAILY   SINNING   AN   INEVITABLE   NECESSITY? 

^Why  is  it  that,  when  we  possess  a  Saviour  whose 
love  and  power  are  infinite,  we  are  so  often  filled  with 
fear  and  despondency?  We  are  wearied  and  faint  in 
our  minds,  because  we  do  not  look  stedfastly  unto 
Jesus,  the  author  and  finisher  of  faith,  who  is  set 
down  at  the  right  hand  of  God, — unto  Him  whose 
omnipotence  embraces  both  heaven  and  earth,  who  is 
strong  and  mighty  in  His  feeble  saints. 

*  While  we  remember  our  weakness,  we  forget  His 
all-sufficient  power.  While  we  acknowledge  that 
apart  from  Christ  we  can  do  nothing,  we  do  not  rise 
to  the  height  or  depth  of  Christian  humility:  I  can 
do  all  things  through  Christ  which  strengtheneth  me. 
While  we  trust  in  the  power  of  the  death  of  Jesus  to 
cancel  the  guilt  of  sin,  we  do  not  exercise  a  reliant 
and  appropriating  faith  in  the  omnipotence  of  the 
living  Saviour  to  deliver  us  from  the  bondage  a7id 
poiver  of  sin  in  our  daily  life.  We  forget  that  Christ 
worketh  in  us  mightily,  and  that,  one  with  Him^  we 
possess  strength  sufficient  to  overcome  every  te^nptation. 


206  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

We  are  apt  either  to  forget  our  nothingness,  and 
imagine  that  in  our  daily  path  we  can  live  without 
sin,  that  the  duties  and  trials  of  our  everyday  life 
can  be  performed  and  borne  in  our  own  strength;  or 
we  do  not  avail  ourselves  of  the  omnipotence  of  Jesus^ 
who  is  able  to  subdue  all  things  to  Himself,  and  to 
heep  us  from  the  daily  infirmities  and  falls  ivhich  we 
are  apt  to  imagine  an  inevitable  necessity.  If  we  really 
depended  in  all  things  and  at  all  times  on  Christ,  we 
would  in  all  things  and  at  all  times  gain  the  victory, 
through  Him  whose  power  is  infinite,  and  who  is 
appointed  by  the  Father  to  be  the  Captain  of  our 
salvation.  Then  all  our  deeds  would  be  wrought,  not 
merely  before,  but  in  God.  We  would  then  do  all 
things  to  the  glory  of  the  Father,  in  the  all-powerful 
name  of  Jesus,  who  is  our  sanctification.  Eemember 
that  unto  Him  all  power  is  given  in  heaven  and  on 
earth,  and  live  iy  the  constant  exercise  of  faith  in  His 
power.  Let  us  most  fully  believe  that  we  have  and 
are  nothing^  that  with  man  it  is  impossible,  that  in 
ourselves  we  have  no  life  which  can  bring  forth  fruit; 
but  that  Christ  is  all, — that  abiding  in  Him,  and  His 
word  dwelling  in  us,  we  can  iring  forth  fruit  to  the 
glory  of  the  Father.* — From  Christ  and  the  Church, 
Sermons  by  Adolph  Saphir.  The  italics  are  not  in 
the  original. 


AS   YOUR  STRENGTH,  207 


TWENTY-EIGHTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHKIST 

AS  YOUR  STRENGTH. 

'AH  power  is  given  unto  me  in  heaven  and  in  earth.  '— 
Matt,  xxviii.  18.* 

'Be  strong  in  the  Lord,  and  in  the  power  of  His  might. ' 
— Eph.  vi.  10. 

*My  power  is  made  perfect  in  weakness.  '—2  COR.  xii.  9 
(R.  v.). 

TIIEEE  is  no  truth  more  generally  admitted 
among  earnest  Christians  than  that  of  their  ut- 
ter weakness.  There  is  no  truth  more  generally 
misunderstood  and  abused.  Here,  as  elsewhere, 
God's  thoughts  are  heaven-high  above  man's 
thoughts. 

The  Christian  often  tries  to  forget  his  weakness : 
God  wants  us  to  remember  it,  to  feel  it  deeply. 
The  Christian  wants  to  conquer  his  weakness  and  to 
be  freed  from  it:  God  wants  us  to  rest  and  even  re- 
joice in  it.  The  Christian  mourns  over  his  weakness: 
Christ  teaches  His  servant  to  say,  'I  take  pleasure  in 

*  The  word  power  in  this  verse  is  properly  authority  (R. 
v.),  but  the  two  ideas  are  so  closely  linked,  and  the  au- 
thority as  a  living  Divine  reality  is  so  inseparable  from  the 
power,  that  I  have  felt  at  liberty  to  retain  the  word  power. 


208  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

infirmities;  most  gladly  will  I  glory  in  my  infirmities.' 
The  Christian  thinks  his  weakness  his  greatest  hin- 
drance in  the  life  and  service  of  God :  God  tells  ns 
that  it  is  the  secret  of  strength  and  success.  It  is 
our  weakness,  heartily  accepted  and  continually 
realized,  that  gives  ns  our  claim  and  access  to  the 
strength  of  Him  who  has  said,  'My  strength  is  made 
perfect  in  weakness, ' 

When  our  Lord  was  about  to  take  His  seat  upon 
the  throne,  one  of  His  last  words  was:  'All  power  is 
given  unto  me  in  heaven  and  on  earth.'  Just  as  His 
taking  His  place  at  the  right  hand  of  the  power  of  God 
was  something  new  and  true, — a  real  advance  in  the 
history  of  the  God-man, — so  w^as  this  clothing  with 
all  power.  Omnipotence  was  now  entrusted  to  the 
man  Christ  Jesus,  that  from  henceforth  through  the 
channels  of  human  nature  it  might  put  forth  its 
mighty  energies.  Hence  He  connected  with  this  rev- 
elation of  what  He  was  to  receive,  the  promise  of  the 
share  that  His  disciples  would  have  in  it:  When  I 
am  ascended,  ye  shall  receive  power  from  on  high 
{LuTce  xxiv.  Jf9;  Acts  i.  8),  It  is  in  the  power  of  the 
omnipotent  Saviour  that  the  believer  must  find  his 
strength  for  life  and  for  work. 

It  was  thus  with  the  disciples.  During  ten  days 
they  worshipped  and  waited  at  the  footstool  of  His 
throne.  They  gave  expression  to  their  faith  in  Him 
as  their  Saviour,  to  their  adoration  of  Him  as  their 


AS   YOUR  STRENGTH.  209 

Lord,  to  their  love  to  Him  as  their  Friend,  to  their 
deyotion  and  readiness  to  work  for  Him  as  their  Mas- 
ter. Jesus  Christ  was  the  one  object  of  thought,  of 
love,  of  delight.  In  such  worship  of  faith  and  devo- 
tion their  souls  grew  up  into  intensest  communion 
with  Him  upon  the  throne,  and  when  they  were  pre- 
pared, the  baptism  of  power  came.  It  was  power 
within  and  power  around. 

The  power  came  to  qualify  for  the  work  to  which 
they  had  yielded  themselves — of  testifying  by  life  and 
word  to  their  unseen  Lord.  With  some  the  chief 
testimony  was  to  be  that  of  a  holy  life,  revealing  the 
heaven  and  the  Christ  from  whom  it  came.  The 
power  came  to  set  up  the  kingdom  within  them,  to 
give  them  the  victory  over  sin  and  self,  to  fit  them  by 
living  experience  to  testify  to  the  power  of  Jesus  on 
the  throne,  to  make  men  live  in  the  world  as  saints. 
Others  were  to  give  themselves  up  entirely  to  the 
speaking  in  the  name  of  Jesus.  But  all  needed  and 
all  received  the  gift  of  power,  to  prove  that  now  Jesus  . 
had  received  the  kingdom  of  the  Father,  all  power  in 
heaven  and  earth  was  indeed  given  to  Him,  and  by 
Him  imparted  to  His  people  just  as  they  needed  it, 
whether  for  a  holy  life  or  effective  service.  They  re- 
ceived the  gift  of  power,  to  prove  to  the  world  that 
the  kingdom  of  God,  to  which  they  professed  to  be- 
long, was  not  in  word  but  in  power.  By  having 
power  within,  they  had  power  without  and  around. 
14 


210  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

The  power  of  God  was  felt  even  by  those  who  would 
not  yield  themselves  to  it  {Acts  it.  4S^  iv.  18^  v,  IS). 

And  what  Jesus  was  to  these  first  disciples,  He  is 
to  us  too.  Our  whole  life  and  calling  as  disciples  find 
their  origin  and  their  guarantee  in  the  words:  'All 
power  is  given  to  me  in  heaven  and  on  earth. '  What 
He  does  in  and  through  us,  He  does  with  almighty 
power.  What  He  claims  or  demands.  He  works  Him- 
self by  that  same  power.  All  He  gives.  He  gives  with 
power.  Every  blessing  He  bestows,  every  promise 
He  fulfils,  every  grace  He  works, — all,  all  is  to  be 
with  power.  Everything  that  comes  from  this  Jesus 
on  the  throne  of  power  is  to  bear  the  stamp  of  power. 
The  weakest  believer  may  be  confident  that  in  asking 
to  be  kept  from  sin,  to  grow  in  holiness,  to  bring 
forth  much  fruit,  he  may  count  upon  these  his  peti- 
tions being  fulfilled  with  Divine  power.  The  power  is 
in  Jesus;  Jesus  is  ours  with  all  His  fulness;  it  is  in 
us  His  members  that  the  power  is  to  work  and  be 
made  manifest. 

And  if  we  want  to  know  how  the  power  is  be- 
stowed, the  answer  is  simple:  Christ  gives  His  power 
in  us  by  giving  His  life  in  us.  He  does  not,  as  so 
many  believers  imagine,  take  the  feeble  life  He  finds 
in  them,  and  impart  a  little  strength  to  aid  them  in 
their  feeble  efforts.  No;  it  is  in  giving  His  own  life 
in  us  that  He  gives  us  His  power.  The  Holy  Spirit 
came  down  to  the  disciples  direct  from  the  heart  of 


AS    YOUR  STRENGTH.  2U 

their  exalted  Lord,  bringing  down  into  them  the 
glorious  life  of  heaven  into  which  He  had  entered. 
And  so  His  people  are  still  taught  to  be  strong  in  the 
Lord  and  in  the  power  of  His  might.  When  He 
strengthens  them,  it  is  not  by  taking  away  the  sense 
of  feebleness,  and  giving  in  its  place  the  feeling  of 
strength.  By  no  means.  But  in  a  very  wonderful 
way  leaving  and  even  increasing  the  sense  of  utter 
impotence.  He  gives  them  along  with  it  the  con- 
sciousness of  strength  in  Him.  'We  have  this  treas- 
ure in  earthen  vessels,  that  the  excellency  of  the 
power  may  be  of  God  and  not  of  us. '  The  feebleness 
and  the  strength  are  side  by  side;  as  the  one  grows, 
the  other  too,  until  they  understand  the  saying, 
'When  I  am  weak,  then  am  I  strong;  I  glory  in  my 
infirmities,  that  the  power  of  Christ  may  rest  on  me.' 
The  believing  believer  learns  to  look  upon  Christ  on 
the  throne,  Christ  the  Omnipotent,  as  his  life.  He 
studies  that  life  in  its  infinite  perfection  and  purity, 
in  its  strength  and  glory;  it  is  the  eternal  life  dwelling 
in  a  glorified  man.  And  when  he  thinks  of  his  own 
inner  life,  and  longs  for  holiness,, to  live  well-pleasing 
unto  God,  or  for  power  to  do  the  Father's  work,  he 
looks  up,  and,  rejoicing  that  Christ  is  his  life,  he  con- 
fidently reckons  that  that  life  will  work  mightily  in 
him  all  he  needs.  In  things  little  and  things  great, 
in  the  being  kept  from  sin  from  moment  to  moment 
for  which  he  has  learned  to  look,  or  in  the  struggle 


212  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

with  some  special  diflBculty  or  temptation,  the  potver 
of  Christ  is  the  measure  of  his  expectation.  He  lives 
a  most  joyous  and  blessed  life,  not  because  he  is  no 
longer  feeble,  but  because,  being  utterly  helpless,  he 
consents  and  expects  to  have  the  mighty  Saviour  work 
in  him. 

The  lessons  these  thoughts  teach  us  for  practical 
life  are  simple,  but  very  precious.  The  first  is,  that 
all  our  strength  is  in  Christ,  laid  up  and  waiting 
for  use.  It  is  there  as  an  Almighty  life,  which  is  in 
Him  for  us,  ready  to  flow  in  according  to  the  meas- 
ure in  which  it  finds  the  channels  open.  But 
whether  its  flow  is  strong  or  feeble,  whatever  our  ex- 
perience of  it  be,  there  it  is  in  Christ:  All  power  in 
heaven  and  earth.  Let  us  take  time  to  study  this. 
Let  us  get  our  minds  filled  with  the  thought:  That 
Jesus  might  be  to  us  a  perfect  Saviour,  the  Father 
gave  Him  all  power.  That  is  the  qualification  that 
fits  Him  for  our  needs:  All  the  power  of  heaven  over 
all  the  powers  of  earth,  over  every  power  of  earth  in 
our  heart  and  life  too. 

The  second  lesson  is:  This  power  flows  into  us  as 
we  abide  in  close  union  with  Him.  When  the  union 
is  feeble,  little  valued  or  cultivated,  the  inflow  of 
strength  will  be  feeble.  When  the  union  with  Christ 
is  rejoiced  in  as  our  highest  good,  and  everything 
sacrificed  for  the  sake  of  maintaining  it,  the  power 
will  work:  'His  strength  will  be  made  perfect  in  our 


AS   YOUR  STRENGTH.  213 

weakness.'  Our  one  care  must  therefore  be  to  abide 
in  Christ  as  our  strength.  Our  one  duty  is  to  be 
strong  in  the  Lord,  and  in  the  power  of  His  might. 
Let  our  faith  cultivate  large  and  clear  apprehensions 
of  the  exceeding  greatness  of  God's  power  in  them 
that  believe,  eve^i  that  power  of  the  risen  and  exalted 
Christ  by  which  He  triumphed  over  every  enemy 
{Eph.  i,  19-21).  Let  our  faith  consent  to  God's  won- 
derful and  most  blessed  arrangement:  nothing  but 
feebleness  in  us  as  our  own^  all  the  power  in  Christ, 
and  yet  within  our  reach  as  surely  as  if  it  were  in  us. 
Let  our  faith  daily  go  out  of  self  and  its  life  into  the 
life  of  Christ,  placing  our  whole  being  at  His  disposal 
for  Him  to  work  in  us.  Let  our  faith,  above  all, 
confidently  rejoice  in  the  assurance  that  He  will  in 
very  deed,  with  His  almighty  power,  perfect  His 
work  in  us.  As  we  thus  abide  in  Christ,  the  Holy 
Spirit,  the  Spirit  of  His  power,  will  work  mightily  in 
us,  and  we  too  shall  sing,  'Jehovah  is  my  strength 
and  song:  IK  Jehovah  I  have  righteousness  and 
strength,'^  'I  can  do  all  things  through  Christ,  which 
strengtheneth  me.' 


214  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


TWENTY-NINTH  DAY. 


ABIDE  IN  CHEIST 

AND  NOT  IN  SELF. 

*In  me,  that  is,  in  my  flesh,  dwelleth  no  good  thing.' — 
Rom.  vii.  18. 

TO  have  life  in  Himself  is  the  prerogative  of  God 
alone,  and  of  the  Son,  to  whom  the  Father  hath 
also  given  it.  To  seek  life,  not  in  itself,  but  in  God, 
is  the  highest  honour  of  the  creature.  To  live  in  and 
to  himself  is  the  folly  and  guilt  of  sinful  man;  to  live 
to  God  in  Christ,  the  blessedness  of  the  believer.  To 
deny,  to  hate,  to  forsake,  to  lose  his  own  life,  such  is 
the  secrefc  of  the  life  of  faith.  'I  live,  yet  not  I,  but 
Christ  liveth  in  me;'  *Not  I,  but  the  grace  of  God 
which  is  with  me:'  this  is  the  testimony  of  each  one 
who  has  found  out  what  it  is  to  give  up  his  own  life, 
and  to  receive  instead  the  blessed  life  of  Christ  within 
us.  There  is  no  path  to  true  life,  to  abiding  in 
Christ,  than  that  which  our  Lord  went  before  us — 
through  death. 

At  the  first  commencement  of  the  Christian  life, 
but  few  see  this.  In  the  joy  of  pardon,  they  feel  con- 
strained to  live  for  Christ,  and  trust  with  the  help  of 
God  to  be  enabled  to  do  so.     They  are  as  yet  ignorant 


AND  NOT  IN  SELF.  "  215 

of  the  terrible  enmity  of  the  flesh  against  God,  and 
its  absolute  refusal  in  the  believer  to  be  subject  to  the 
law  of  God.  They  know  not  yet  that  nothing  but 
death,  the  absolute  surrender  to  death  of  all  that  is  ' 
of  nature,  will  suflBce  if  the  life  of  God  is  to  be  mani- 
fested in  them  with  power.  But  bitter  experience  of 
failure  soon  teaches  them  the  insufficiency  of  what 
they  have  yet  known  of  Christ's  power  to  save,  and 
deep  heart-longings  are  awakened  to  know  Him  bet- 
ter. He  lovingly  points  them  to  His  cross.  He  tells 
them  that  as  there,  in  the  faith  of  His  death  as  their 
substitute,  they  found  their  title  to  life,  so  there  they 
shall  enter  into  its  fuller  experience  too.  He  asks 
them  if  they  are  indeed  willing  to  drink  of  the  cup 
of  which  He  drank — to  be  crucified  and  to  die  with 
Him.  He  teaches  them  that  in  Him  they  are  indeed 
already  crucified  and  dead — all  unknowing,  at  con- 
version they  became  partakers  of  His  death.  But 
what  they  need  now  is  to  give  a  full  and  intelligent 
consent  to  what  they  received  ere  they  understood  it, 
by  an  act  of  their  own  choice  to  will  to  die  with 
Christ. 

This  demand  of  Christ's  is  one  of  unspeakable  so- 
lemnity. Many  a  believer  shrinks  back  from  it.  He 
can  hardly  understand  it.  He  has  become  so  accus- 
tomed to  a  low  life  of  continual  stumbling,  that  he 
hardly  desires,  and  still  less  expects,  deliverance. 
Holiness,  perfect  conformity  to  Jesus,  unbroken  fel- 


216  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

lowship  with  His  love,  can  scarcely  be  counted  dis- 
tinct articles  of  his  creed.  Where  there  is  not  intense 
longing  to  be  kept  to  the  utmost  from  sinning,  and 
to  be  brought  into  the  closest  possible  union  with  the 
Saviour,  the  thought  of  being  crucified  with  Him 
can  find  no  entrance.  The  only  impression  it  makes 
is  that  of  suffering  and  shame:  such  a  one  is  content 
that  Jesus  bore  the  cross,  and  so  won  for  him  the 
crown  he  hopes  to  wear.  How  different  the  light  in 
which  the  believer  who  is  really  seeking  to  abide  fully 
in  Christ  looks  upon  it.  Bitter  experience  has  taught 
him  how,  both  in  the  matter  of  entire  surrender  and 
simple  trust,  his  greatest  enemy  in  the  abiding  life, 
is  SELF.  Now  it  refuses  to  give  up  its  will ;  then 
again,  by  its  working,  it  hinders  God's  work.  Un- 
less this  life  of  self,  with  its  willing  and  working,  be 
displaced  by  the  life  of  Christ,  with  His  willing  and 
working,  to  abide  in  Him  will  be  impossible.  And 
then  comes  the  solemn  question  from  Him  who  died 
on  the  cross:  'Are  you  ready  to  give  up  self  to  the 
death?'  You  yourself,  the  living  person  born  of 
God,  are  already  in  me  dead  to  sin  and  alive  to  God; 
but  are  you  ready  now,  in  the  power  of  this  death,  to 
mortify  your  members,  to  give  up  self  entirely  to  its 
death  of  the  cross,  to  be  kept  there  until  it  be  wholly 
destroyed?  The  question  is  a  heart-searching  one. 
Am  I  prepared  to  say  that  the  old  self  shall  no  longer 
have  a  word   to  say;    that  it  shall  not    be  allowed 


AND  NOT  IN  SELF.  217 

to  have  a  single  thought,  however  natural, — not  a 
single  feeling,  however  gratifying, — not  a  single  wish 
or  work,  however  right? 

Is  this  in  very  deed  what  He  requires?  Is  not  onr 
nature  God's  handiwork,  and  may  not  our  natural 
powers  be  sanctified  to  His  service?  They  may  and 
must  indeed.  But  perhaps  you  have  not  yet  seen 
how  the  only  way  they  can  be  sanctified  is  that  they 
be  taken  from  under  the  power  of  self,  and  brought 
under  the  power  of  the  life  of  Christ.  Think  not 
that  this  is  a  work  that  you  can  do,  because  you  ear- 
nestly desire  it,  and  are  indeed  one  of  His  redeemed 
ones.  No,  there  is  noway  to  the  altar  of  consecration 
but  through  death.  As  you  yielded  yourself  a  sacri- 
fice on  God's  altar  as  one  alive  from  the  dead  {Rom. 
vi,  IS  J  xii.  i),  so  each  power  of  your  nature — each 
talent,  gift,  possession,  that  is  really  to  be  holiness  to 
the  Lord — must  be  separated  from  the  power  of  sin 
and  self,  and  laid  on  the  altar  to  be  consumed  by  the 
fire  that  is  ever  burning  there.  It  is  in  the  mortify- 
ing, the  slaying  of  self,  that  the  wonderful  powers 
with  which  God  has  fitted  you  to  serve  Him,  can  be 
set  free  for  a  complete  surrender  to  God,  and  offered 
to  Him  to  be  accepted,  and  sanctified,  and  used. 
And  though,  as  long  as  you  are  in  the  flesh,  there  is 
no  thought  of  being  able  to  say  that  self  is  dead,  yet 
when  the  life  of  Christ  is  allowed  to  take  full  posses- 
sion, self  can  be  so  kept  in  its  crucifixion  place  and 


218  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

under  i«ts  sentence  of  death,  that  it  shall  have  no  do- 
minion over  yon,  no,  not  for  a  single  moment.  Jesus 
Christ  becomes  your  second  self. 

Believer!  wouldest  thou  truly  and  fully  abide  in 
Christ,  prepare  thyself  to  part  for  ever  from  self,  and 
not  to  allow  it,  even  for  a  single  moment,  to  have 
aught  to  say  in  thy  inner  life.  If  thou  art  willing 
to  come  entirely  away  out  of  self,  and  to  allow  Jesus 
Christ  to  become  thy  life  within  thee,  inspiring  all 
thy  thinking,  feeling,  acting,  in  things  temporal  and 
spiritual.  He  is  ready  to  undertake  the  charge.  In 
the  fullest  and  widest  sense  the  word  life  ever  can 
have.  He  will  be  thy  life^  extending  His  interest  and 
influence  to  each  one,  even  the  minutest,  of  the  thou- 
sand things  that  make  up  thy  daily  life.  To  do  this 
He  asks  but  one  thing:  Come  away  out  of  self  and  its 
life,  abide  in  Christ  and  the  Christ  life,  and  Christ 
will  be  thy  life.  The  power  of  His  holy  presence  will 
cast  out  the  old  life. 

To  this  end  give  up  self  at  once  and  for  ever.  If 
thou  hast  never  yet  dared  to  do  it,  for  fear  thou 
mightest  fail  of  thy  engagement,  do  it  now,  in  view 
of  the  promise  Christ  gives  thee  that  His  life  will  take 
the  place  of  the  old  life.  Try  and  realize  that  though 
self  is  not  dead,  thou  art  indeed  dead  to  self.  Self  is 
still  strong  and  living,  but  it  has  no  poiver  over  thee. 
Thou,  thy  renewed  nature — thou,  thy  new  self,  begot- 
ten again  in  Jesus  Christ  from  the  dead — art  indeed 


AND  NOT  IN  SELF.  219 

dead  to  sin  and  alive  to  God.  Thy  death  in  Christ 
has  freed  thee  completely  from  the  control  of  self:  it 
has  no  power  over  thee,  except  as  thou,  in  ignorance, 
or  nnwatchfulness,  or  nnbelief,  consentest  to  yield  to 
its  usurped  authority.  Come  and  accept  by  faith  sim- 
ply and  heartily  the  glorious  position  thou  hast  in 
Christ.  As  one  who,  in  Christ,  has  a  life  dead  to  self, 
as  one  who  is  freed  from  the  dominion  of  self,  and  has 
received  His  divine  life  to  take  place  of  self,  to  be  the 
animating  and  inspiring  principle  of  thy  life,  venture 
boldly  to  plant  the  foot  upon  the  neck  of  this  enemy 
of  thine  and  thy  Lord's.  Be  of  good  courage,  only 
believe;  fear  not  to  take  the  irrevocable  step,  and 
to  say  that  thou  hast  once  for  all  given  up  self  to  the 
death  for  which  it  has  been  crucified  in  Christ  {Ro?n, 
VI.  6).  And  trust  Jesus  the  Crucified  One  to  hold 
self  to  the  cross,  and  to  fill  its  place  in  thee  with  His 
own  blessed  resurrection  life. 

In  this  faith,  abide  in  Christ!  Cling  to  Him; 
rest  on  Him;  hope  on  Him.  Daily  renew  thy  conse- 
cration ;  daily  accept  afresh  thy  position  as  ransomed 
from  thy  tyrant,  and  now  in  turn  made  a  conqueror. 
Daily  look  with  holy  fear  on  the  enemy,  self,  strug- 
gling to  get  free  from  the  cross,  seeking  to  allure  thee 
into  giving  it  some  little  liberty,  or  else  ready  to  de- 
ceive thee  by  its  profession  of  willingness  now  to  do 
service  to  Christ.  Remember,  self  seeking  to  serve 
God  is  more  dangerous  than  self  refusing  obedience. 


220  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Look  upon  it  with  holy  fear,  and  hide  thyself  in 
Christ:  in  Him  alone  is  thy  safety.  Abide  thus  in 
Him;  He  has  promised  to  abide  in  thee.  He  will 
teach  thee  to  be  humble  and  watchful.  He  will 
teach  thee  to  be  happy  and  trustful.  Bring  every 
interest  of  thy  life,  every  power  of  thy  nature,  all  the 
unceasing  flow  of  thought,  and  will,  and  feeling,  that 
makes  up  life,  and  trust  Him  to  take  the  place  that 
self  once  filled  so  easily  and  so  naturally.  Jesus 
Christ  will  indeed  take  possession  of  thee  and  dwell 
in  thee;  and  in  the  restfulness  and  peace  and  grace 
of  the  new  life  thou  shalt  have  unceasing  joy  at  the 
wondrous  exchange  that  has  been  made, — the  coming 
out  of  self  to  abide  in  Christ  alone. 


NOTE. 

In  his  work  on  ^'  Sanctification,'*  Marshall,  in  the 
twelfth  chapter,  on  'Holiness  through  faith  alone,' 
puts  with  great  force  the  danger  in  which  the  Christian 
IS  of  seeking  sanctification  in  the  power  of  the  flesh, 
with  the  help  of  Christ,  instead  of  looking  for  it  to 
Cnrist  alone,  and  receiving  it  from  Him  by  faith. 
He  reminds  us  how  there  are  two  natures  in  the 
believer,  and  so  two  ways  of  seeking  holiness,  accord- 
ing as  we  allow  the  principles  of  the  one  or  other 
nature  to  guide  us.  The  one  is  the  carnal  way,  in 
which  we  put  forth  our  utmost  efforts  and  resolutions, 
trusting  Christ  to  help  us  in  doing  so.     The  other 


AND  NOT  IN  SELF,  221 

the  spiritual  way,  in  which,  as  those  who  have  died, 
and  can  do  nothing,  our  one  care  is  to  receive  Christ 
day  by  day,  and  at  every  step  to  let  Him  live  and 
work  in  us. 

^Despair  of  purging  the  flesh  or  natural  man  of  its 
sinful  lusts  and  inclinations,  and  of  practising  holi- 
ness by  your  willing  and  resolving  to  do  the  best  that 
lieth  171  your  own  potver^  and  trusting  on  the  grace  of 
God  and  Christ  to  help  you  in  such  resolutions  and 
endeavours.  Bather  resolve  to  trust  on  Christ  to  work 
in  you  to  will  and  to  do  hy  His  own  power  according 
to  His  own  good  pleasure.  They  that  are  convinced 
of  their  own  sin  and  misery  do  commonly  first  think 
to  tame  the  flesh,  and  to  subdue  and  root  out  its  lusts, 
and  to  make  their  corrupt  nature  to  be  better-natured 
and  inclined  to  holiness  iy  their  struggling  and 
wrestlijig  with  it;  and  if  they  can  but  bring  their 
hearts  to  a  full  purpose  and  resolution  to  do  the  best 
that  lieth  in  them,  they  hope  that  by  such  a  resolu- 
tion they  shall  be  able  to  achieve  great  enterprises  in 
the  conquests  of  their  lusts  and  performance  of  the 
most  difficult  duties.  It  is  the  great  work  of  some 
zealous  divines  in  their  preachings  and  writings  to 
stir  up  people  to  this  resolution^  wherein  they  place 
the  chiefest  turning-point  from  sin  to  godliness. 
And  they  think  that  this  is  not  contrary  to  the  life  of 
faith,  because  they  trust  in  the  grace  of  God  through 
Christ  to  help  them  in  all  such  resolutions  and  en- 
deavours.  Thus  they  endeavour  to  reform  their  old 
state,  and  to  be  made  perfect  in  the  flesh,  instead  of 
putting  it  ofE  and  walking  according  to  the  new  state 
in  Christ.  They  trust  on  low  carnal  things  for  holi- 
ness, and  upon  the  acts  of  their  own  will,  their  pur- 


222  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

poses,  resolutionSj  and  endeavours,  instead  of  Christ ; 
and  they  trust  to  Christ  to  help  them  in  this  carnal 
way ;  whereas  true  faith  would  teach  them  that  they 
are  nothing,  and  that  they  do  but  labour  in  vain/* 

*  The  Highway  of  Holiness.  An  Abridgment  of  the 
Gospel  Mystery  of  Sanctiflcation,  by  Rev.  W.  Marshall,  p. 
58. 


AS  THE  SURETY  OF  THE  COVENANT.      223 


THIRTIETH  DAY. 


ABIDE   m   CHEIST 

AS  THE  SURETY  OF  THE  COVENANT. 

'Jesus  was  made  a  surety  of  a  better  testament. '—Heb. 
vii.  22. 

OF  the  Old  Covenant  Scripture  speaks  as  not  being 
faultless,  and  God  complains  that  Israel  had  not 
continued  in  it;  and  so  He  regarded  them  not  {Hei. 
viii.  7-9).  It  had  not  secured  its  apparent  object,  in 
uniting  Israel  and  God:  Israel  had  forsaken  Him, 
and  He  had  not  regarded  Israel.  Therefore  God 
promises  to  make  a  New  Covenant,  free  from  the 
faults  of  the  first,  and  effectual  to  realize  its  purposrf. 
If  it  were  to  accomplish  its  end,  it  would  need  to 
secure  God's  faithfulness  to  His  people,  and  His 
people's  faithfulness  to  God.  And  the  terms  of  the 
New  Covenant  expressly  declared  that  these  two  ob- 
jects shall  be  attained.  'I  will  put  my  laws  into  their 
mind:'  thus  God  proposes  to  secure  their  unchang- 
ing faithfulness  to  Him.  *Their  sins  I  will  remem- 
ber no  more'  (see  Heb.  viii,  10-12) :  thus  He  assures 
His  unchanging  faithfulness  to  them.  A  pardoning 
God  and  an  obedient  people :  these  are  the  two  parties 


224  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

who  are  to  meet  and  to  be  eternally  united  in  the 
New  Covenant. 

The  most  beautiful  provision  of  this  New  Covenant 
is  that  of  the  surety  in  whom  its  fulfilment  on  both 
parts  is  guaranteed.  Jesus  was  made  the  surety  of 
the  better  covenant.  To  man  He  became  surety  that 
God  would  faithfully  fulfil  His  part,  so  that  man 
could  confidently  depend  upon  God  to  pardon,  and 
accept,  and  nevermore  forsake.  And  to  God  He  like- 
wise became  surety  that  man  would  faithfully  fulfil 
his  part,  so  that  God  could  bestow  on  him  the  blessing 
of  the  covenant.  And  the  way  in  which  He  fulfils 
His  suretyship  is  this:  As  one  with  God,  and  having 
the  fulness  of  God  dwelling  in  His  human  nature.  He 
is  personally  security  to  men  that  God  will  do  what 
He  has  engaged.  All  that  God  has  is  secured  to  us 
in  Him  as  man.  And  then,  as  one  with  us,  and 
having  taken  us  up  as  members  into  His  own  body. 
He  is  security  to  God  that  His  interests  shall  be  cared 
for.  All  that  man  must  be  and  do  is  secured  in 
Him.  It  is  the  glory  of  the  New  Covenant  that  it 
has  in  the  person  of  the  God-man  its  living  surety, 
its  everlasting  security.  And  it  can  easily  be  under- 
stood how,  in  proportion  as  we  abide  in  Him  as  the 
surety  of  the  covenant,  its  objects  and  its  blessings 
will  be  realized  in  us. 

We  shall  understand  this  best  if  we  consider  it  in 
the  light  of  one  of  the  promises  of  the  New  Covenant. 


AS  THE  SURETY  OF  THE  COVENANT.      225 

Take  that  in  Jer.  xxxii.  Jfi:  *I  will  make  an  everlast- 
ing covenant  with  them,  that  /  will  not  turn  away 
from  them.,  to  do  them  good ;  but  I  will  put  my  fear 
in  their  hearts,  that  fhey  shall  not  depart  from  me,'* 

With  what  wonderful  condescension  the  infinite 
God  here  bows  Himself  to  our  weakness!  He  is  the 
Faithful  and  Unchanging  One,  whose  word  is  truth ; 
and  yet  more  abundantly  to  show  to  the  heirs  of  the 
promise  the  immutability  of  His  counsel,  He  binds 
Himself  in  the  covenant  that  He  will  never  change: 
*I  will  make  an  everlasting  covenant,  that  I  will  not 
turn  away  from  them.'  Blessed  the  man  who  has 
thoroughly  appropriated  this,  and  finds  his  rest  in 
the  everlasting  covenant  of  the  Faithful  One! 

But  in  a  covenant  there  are  two  parties.  And 
what  if  man  becomes  unfaithful  and  breaks  the 
covenant?  Provision  must  be  made,  if  the  covenant 
is  to  be  well  ordered  in  all  things  and  sure,  that  this 
cannot  be,  and  that  man  too  remain  faithful.  Man 
never  can  undertake  to  give  such  an  assurance.  And 
see,  here  God  comes  to  provide  for  this  too.  He  not 
only  undertakes  in  the  covenant  that  He  will  never 
turn  from  His  people,  but  also  to  put  His  fear  in 
their  heart,  that  they  do  not  depart  from  Him.  In 
addition  to  His  own  obligations  as  one  of  the  cove- 
nanting parties,  He  undertakes  for  the  other  party  too : 
'I  WILL  CAUSE  you  to  Walk  in  my  statutes,  and  ye 
shall  keep  my  judgments  and  do  them'  {EzeJc.  xxxvi. 
15 


326  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

7).  Blessed  the  man  who  understands  this  half  of 
the  covenant  too!  He  sees  that  his  security  is  not  in 
the  covenant  which  he  makes  with  his  God,  and 
which  he  would  but  continually  break  again.  He 
jBnds  that  a  covenant  has  been  made,  in  which  God 
stands  good,  not  only  for  Himself,  but  for  man  too. 
He  grasps  the  blessed  truth  that  his  part  in  the 
covenant  is  to  accept  what  God  has  promised  to  do, 
and  to  expect  the  sure  fulfilment  of  the  Divine  en- 
gagement to  secure  the  faithfulness  of  His  people  to 
their  God:  'I  will  put  my  fear  in  their  hearts,  that 
they  shall  not  depart  from  me. ' 

It  is  just  here  that  the  blessed  work  comes  in  of 
the  surety  of  the  covenant,  appointed  of  the  Father 
to  see  to  its  maintenance  and  perfect  fulfilment.  To 
Him  the  Father  hath  said,  *I  have  given  thee  for  a 
covenant  of  the  people.'  And  the  Holy  Spirit 
testifies,  *A11  the  promises  of  God  i^  Him  are  yea, 
and  in  Him  are  Amen,  to  the  glory  of  God  by  us.' 
The  believer  who  abides  in  Him  hath  a  Divine  as- 
surance for  the  fulfilment  of  every  promise  the 
covenant  ever  gave. 

Christ  was  made  surety  of  a  better  testament.  It 
is  as  our  Melchisedec  that  Christ  is  surety  (see  Heh. 
vii.),  Aaron  and  his  sons  passed  away;  of  Christ  it 
is  witnessed  that  He  liveth.  He  is  priest  in  the 
power  of  an  endless  life.  Because  He  continueth 
ever^  He   hath  an  unchangeable  priesthood.      And 


AS  THE  SURETY  OF  THE  COVENANT,      227 

because  He  ever  Uvetli  to  make  intercession,  He  can 
save  to  the  uttermost,  He  can  save  completely.  It  is 
because  Christ  is  the  Ever-living  One  that  His  surety- 
ship of  the  covenant  is  so  effectual.  He  liveth  ever 
to  make  intercession,  and  can  therefore  save  com- 
pletely. Every  moment  there  rise  up  from  His  holy 
presence  to  the  Father,  the  unceasing  pleadings  vrhich 
secure  to  His  people  the  powers  and  the  blessings 
of  the  heavenly  life.  And  every  moment  there  go 
out  from  Him  downward  to  His  people,  the  mighty 
influences  of.  His  unceasing  intercession,  conveying 
to  them  uninterruptedly  the  power  of  the  heavenly 
life.  As  surety  with  us  for  the  Father's  favour.  He 
never  ceases  to  pray  and  present  us  before  Him ;  as 
surety  with  the  Father  for  us.  He  never  ceases  to 
work,  and  reveal  the  Father  within  us. 

The  mystery  of  the  Melchisedec  priesthood,  which 
the  Hebrews  were  not  able  to  receive  {Hei,  v.  10-lJi)^ 
is  the  mystery  of  the  resurrection  life.  It  is  in  this 
that  the  glory  of  Christ  as  surety  of  the  covenant  con- 
sists :  He  ever  liveth.  He  performs  His  work  in  heav- 
en in  the  power  of  a  Divine  and  omnipotent  life.  He 
ever  liveth  to  pray;  not  a  moment  that  as  surety  His 
prayers  do  not  rise  Godward  to  secure  the  Father's 
fulfilment  to  us  of  the  covenant.  He  performs  His 
work  on  earth  in  the  power  of  that  same  life;  not  a 
moment  that  His  answered  prayers — the  powers  of 
the  heavenly  world — do  not  flow  downward  to  secure 


228  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

for  His  Father  onr  fulfilment  of  the  covenant.  In 
the  eternal  life  there  are  no  breaks,  never  a  moment's 
interruption;  each  moment  has  the  power  of  eternity 
in  it.  He  ever,  every  moment,  liveth  to  pray.  He 
ever,  every  moment,  liveth  to  bless.  He  can  save  to 
the  uttermost,  completely  and  perfectly,  because  He 
ever  liveth  to  pray. 

Believer !  come  and  see  here  how  the  possibility  of 
abiding  in  Jesus  every  moment  is  secured  by  the  very 
nature  of  this  ever-living  priesthood  of  thy  surety. 
Moment  by  moment,  as  His  intercession  rises  up,  its 
eflBcacy  descends.  And  because  Jesus  stands  good  for 
the  fulfilment  of  the  covenant, — *I  will  put  my  fear 
in  their  heart,  and  they  shall  not  depart  from  me,' — 
He  cannot  afEord  to  leave  thee  one  single  moment  to 
thyself.  He  dare  not  do  so,  or  He  fails  of  His  under- 
taking. Thy  unbelief  may  fail  of  realizing  the  bless- 
ing; He  cannot  be  unfaithful.  If  thou  wilt  but 
consider  Him,  and  the  power  of  that  endless  life  after 
which  He  was  made  and  is  a  High  Priest,  thy  faith 
will  rise  to  believe  that  an  endless,  ever-continuing, 
unchangeable  life  of  abiding  in  Jesus,  is  nothing  less 
than  what  is  waiting  thee. 

It  is  as  we  see  what  Jesus  is,  and  is  to  us,  that  the 
abiding  in  Him  will  become  the  natural  and  sponta- 
neous result  of  our  knowledge  of  Him.  If  His  life 
unceasingly,  moment  by  moment,  rises  to  the  Father 
for  us,  and  descends  to  us  from  the  Father,  then  to 


AS  THE  SURETY  OF  THE  COVENANT      229 

abide  moment  by  moment  is  easy  and  simple.  Each 
moment  of  conscious  intercourse  with  Him  we  simply 
say,  'Jesus,  surety,  keeper,  ever-living  Saviour,  in 
whose  life  I  dwell,  I  abide  in  Thee.'  Each  moment 
of  need,  or  darkness,  or  fear,  we  will  say,  '0  thou 
great  High  Priest,  in  the  power  of  an  endless,  un- 
changeable life,  I  abide  in  Thee.'  And  for  the 
moments  when  direct  and  distinct  communion  with 
Him  must  give  place  to  needful  occupations,  we  can 
trust  His  suretyship.  His  unceasing  priesthood,  in  its 
Divine  efficacy,  and  the  power  with  which  He  saves 
to  the  uttermost,  still  to  keep  us  abiding  in  Him. 


230  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 


THIRTY-FIRST  DAY. 


ABIDE   IN   CHRIST 

THE  GLORIFIED  ONE. 

*Your  life  is  hid  with  Christ  in  God.  When  Christ, 
who  is  our  life,  shall  appear,  then  shall  ye  also  appear  with 
Him  in  glory. '— COL.  iii.  3,  4. 

HE  that  abides  in  Christ  the  Crucified  One,  learns 
to  know  what  it  is  to  be  crucified  with  Him, 
and  in  Him  to  be  indeed  dead  unto  sin.  He  that 
abides  in  Christ  the  Risen  and  Glorified  One,  becomes 
in  the  same  way  partaker  of  His  resurrection  life, 
and  of  the  glory  with  which  He  has  now  been 
crowned  in  heaven.  Unspeakable  are  the  blessings 
which  flow  to  the  soul  from  the  union  with  Jesus  in 
His  glorified  life. 

This  life  is  a  life  of  perfect  victory  and  rest. 
Before  His  death,  the  Son  of  God  had  to  suffer  and 
to  struggle,  could  be  tempted  and  troubled  by  sin 
and  its  assaults:  as  the  Risen  One,  He  has  triumphed 
over  sin;  and,  as  the  Glorified  One,  His  humanity 
has  entered  into  participation  of  the  glory  of  Deity. 
The  believer  who  abides  in  Him  as  such,  is  led  to  see 
how  the  power  of  sin  and  the  flesh  are  indeed  de- 
stroyed :  the  consciousness  of  complete  and  everlast- 


THE  GLORIFIED  ONE.  231 

ing  deliverance  becomes  increasingly  clear,  and  the 
blessed  rest  and  peace,  the  fruit  of  such  a  conviction 
that  victory  and  deliverance  are  an  accomplished  fact, 
take  possession  of  the  life.  Abiding  in  Jesus,  in 
whom  he  has  been  raised  and  set  in  the  heavenly 
places,  he  receives  of  that  glorious  life  streaming  from 
the  head  through  every  member  of  the  body. 

This  life  is  a  life  in  the  full  fellowship  of  the  Father'^  s 
love  and  holiness.  Jesus  often  gave  prominence  to 
this  thought  with  His  disciples.  His  death  was  a 
going  to  the  Father.  He  prayed:  *  Glorify  me,  0 
Father,  loith  Thyself.,  with  the  glory  which  I  had  with 
Thee. '  As  the  believer,  abiding  in  Christ  the  Glori- 
fied One,  seeks  to  realize  and  experience  what  His 
union  with  Jesus  on  the  throne  implies,  he  appre- 
hends how  the  unclouded  light  of  the  Father's  pres- 
ence is  His  highest  glory  and  blessedness,  and  in  Him 
the  believer's  portion  too.  He  learns  the  sacred  art 
of  always,  in  every  fellowship  with  His  exalted  Head, 
dwelling  in  the  secret  of  the  Father's  presence. 
Farther,  when  Jesus  was  on  earth,  temptation  could 
still  reach  Him:  in  glory,  everything  is  holy,  and  in 
perfect  harmony  with  the  will  of  God.  And  so  the 
believer  who  abides  in  Him  experiences  that  in  this 
high  fellowship  his  spirit  is  sanctified  into  growing 
harmony  with  the  Father's  will.  The  heavenly  life 
of  Jesus  is  the  power  that  casts  out  sin. 

This  life  is  a  life  of  loving  beneficence  and  activity. 


233  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

Seated  on  His  throne,  He  dispenses  His  gifts,  bestows 
His  spirit,  and  never  ceases  in  love  to  watch  and  to 
work  for  those  who  are  His.  The  believer  cannot  abide 
in  Jesus  the  Glorified  One,  without  feeling  himself 
stirred  and  strengthened  to  work:  the  Spirit  and 
the  love  of  Jesus  breathe  the  will  and  the  power  to  be 
a  blessing  to  others.  Jesus  went  to  heaven  with  the 
very  object  of  obtaining  power  there  to  bless  abun- 
dantly. He  does  this  as  the  heavenly  Vine  only 
through  the  medium  of  His  people  as  His  branches. 
Whoever,  therefore,  abides  in  Him,  the  Glorified 
One,  bears  much  fruit,  for  he  receives  of  the  Spirit 
and  the  power  of  the  eternal  life  of  his  exalted 
Lord,  and  becomes  the  channel  through  which  the 
fulness  of  Jesus,  who  hath  been  exalted  to  be  a  Prince 
and  a  Saviour,  flows  out  to  bless  those  around  him. 

There  is  one  more  thought  in  regard  to  this  life  of 
the  Glorified  One,  and  ours  in  Him.  It  is  a  life  of 
wondrous  expectation  and  hope.  It  is  so  with  Christ. 
He  sits  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  expecting  till  all 
His  enemies  be  made  His  footstool,  looking  to  the 
time  when  He  shall  receive  His  full  reward,  when  His 
glory  shall  be  made  manifest,  and  His  beloved  people 
be  ever  with  Him  in  that  glory.  The  hope  of  Christ 
is  the  hope  of  His  redeemed:  'I  will  come  again  and 
take  you  to  myself,  that  where  I  am  there  ye  may  be 
also. '  This  promise  is  as  precious  to  Christ  as  it  ever 
can  be  to  us.     The  joy  of  meeting  is  surely  no  less 


THE  GLORIFIED  ONE,  233 

for  the  coming  Bridegroom  than  for  the  waiting 
bride.  The  life  of  Christ  in  glory  is  one  of  longing 
expectation:  the  full  glory  only  comes  when  His 
beloved  are  with  Him. 

The  believer  who  abides  closely  in  Christ  will  share 
with  Him  in  this  spirit  of  expectation.  Not  so  much 
for  the  increase  of  personal  happiness,  but  from  the 
spirit  of  enthusiastic  allegiance  to  his  King,  he  longs 
to  see  Him  come  in  His  glory,  reigning  over  every 
enemy,  the  full  revelation  of  God's  everlasting  love. 
'Till  He  come,Ms  the  watchword  of  every  true- 
hearted  believer.  'Christ  shall  appear,  and  we  shall 
appear  with  Him  in  glory. ' 

There  may  be  very  serious  difEerences  in  the  ex-^ 
position  of  the  promises  of  His  coming.  To  one  it 
is  plain  as  day  that  He  is  coming  very  speedily  in 
person  to  reign  on  earth,  and  that  speedy  coming  is 
his  hope  and  his  stay.  To  another,  loving  his  Bible 
and  his  Saviour  not  less,  the  coming  can  mean  nothing 
but  the  judgment  day, — the  solemn  transition  from 
time  to  eternity,  the  close  of  history  on  earth,  the 
beginning  of  heaven ;  and  the  thought  of  that  mani- 
festation of  his  Saviour's  glory  is  no  less  his  joy  and 
his  strength.  It  is  Jesus,  Jesus  coming  again,  Jesus 
taking  us  to  Himself,  Jesus  adored  as  Lord  of  all, 
that  is  to  the  whole  Church  the  sum  and  the  centre 
of  its  hope. 

It  is  by  abiding  in  Christ  the  Glorified  One  that 


234  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

the  believer  will  be  quickened  to  that  truly  spiritual 
looking  for  His  coming,  which  alone  brings  true 
blessing  to  the  soul.  There  is  an  interest  in  the 
study  of  the  things  which  are  to  be,  in  which  the 
discipleship  of  a  school  is  often  more  marked  than 
the  discipleship  of  Christ  the  meek;  in  which  con- 
tendings  for  opinions  and  condemnation  of  brethren 
are  more  striking  than  any  signs  of  the  coming  glory. 
It  is  only  the  humility  that  is  willing  to  learn  from 
those  who  may  have  other  gifts  and  deeper  revelations 
of  the  truth  than  we,  and  the  love  that  always  speaks 
gently  and  tenderly  of  those  who  see  not  as  we  do, 
and  the  heavenliness  that  shows  that  the  Coming  One 
is  indeed  already  our  life,  that  will  persuade  either 
the  Church  or  the  world  that  this  our  faith  is  not  in 
the  wisdom  of  men,  but  in  the  power  of  God.  To 
testify  of  the  Saviour  as  the  Coming  One,  we  must 
be  abiding  in  and  bearing  the  image  of  Him  as  the 
Glorified  One.  Not  the  correctness  of  the  views  we 
hold,  nor  the  earnestness  with  which  we  advocate 
them,  will  prepare  us  for  meeting  Him,  but  only  the 
abiding  in  Him.  Then  only  can  our  being  manifested 
in  glory  with  Him  be  what  it  is  meant  to  be, — a 
transfiguration,  a  breaking  out  and  shining  forth  of 
the  indwelling  glory  that  had  been  waiting  for  the 
day  of  revelation. 

Blessed  life!  'the  life  hid  with  Christ  in  God,'  *set 
in  the  heavenlies  in  Christ,'  abiding  in  Christ  the 


THE  GLORIFIED  ONE.  235 

glorified!  Once  again  the  question  comes:  Can  a 
feeble  child  of  dust  really  dwell  in  fellowship  with  the 
King  of  glory?  And  again  the  blessed  answer  has  to 
be  given :  To  maintain  that  union  is  the  very  work 
for  which  Christ  has  all  power  in  heaven  and  earth  at 
His  disposal.  The  blessing  will  be  given  to  him  who 
will  trust  his  Lord  for  it,  who  in  faith  and  confident 
expectation  ceases  not  to  yield  himself  to  be  wholly 
one  with  Him.  It  was  an  act  of  wondrous  though 
simple  faith,  in  which  the  soul  yielded  itself  at  first 
to  the  Saviour.  That  faith  grows  up  to  clearer  insight 
and  faster  hold  of  God's  truth  that  we  are  one  with 
Him  in  His  glory.  In  that  same  wondrous  faith, 
wondrously  simple,  but  wondrously  mighty,  the  soul 
learns  to  abandon  itself  entirely  to  the  keeping  of 
Christ's  almighty  power,  and  the  actings  of  His 
Eternal  Life.  Because  it  knows  that  it  has  the 
Spirit  of  God  dwelling  within  to  communicate  all 
that  Christ  is,  it  no  longer  looks  upon  it  as  a  burden 
or  a  work,  but  allows  the  Divine  life  to  have  its  way, 
to  do  its  work ;  its  faith  is  the  increasing  abandonment 
of  self,  the  expectation  and  acceptance  of  all  that  the 
love  and  the  power  of  the  Glorified  One  can  perform. 
In  that  faith  unbroken  fellowship  is  maintained,  and 
growing  conformity  realized.  As  with  Moses,  the 
fellowship  makes  partakers  of  the  glory,  and  the  life 
begins  to  shine  with  a  brightness  not  of  this  world. 
Blessed  life !  it  is  ours,  for  Jesus  is  ours.     Blessed 


236  ABIDE  IN  CHRIST: 

life!  we  have  the  possession  within  us  in  its  hidden 
power,  and  we  have  the  prospect  before  us  in  its 
fullest  glory.  May  our  daily  lives  be  the  bright  and 
blessed  proof  that  the  hidden  power  dwells  within, 
preparing  us  for  the  glory  to  be  revealed.  May  our 
abiding  in  Christ  the  Glorified  One  be  our  power  to 
live  to  the  glory  of  the  Father,  our  fitness  to  share 
in  the  glory  of  the  Son. 

>ND  -NOW, 
LITTLE   CHILDREN, 

ABIDE  IN    HIM, 

THAI,  WHEN   HE   SHALL  APPEAR,  WE   MAY   HAVE 

CONFIDENCE,    AND   NOT   BE  ASHAMED 

BEFORE   HIM  AT  HIS   COMING. 


THE   END. 


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